QUEENS, NY (PIX11)—Before the week is out, Rep. Anthony Weiner could resign. That's what some Democrats on Capitol Hill are saying now. But what Congressman Weiner will say, now that he has a chance to meet with his wife for the first time in over a week, will determine whether or not he steps down.
Huma Abedin, 35, is the pregnant wife of the congressman who represents Queens and parts of Brooklyn. She works for, and is close to, another politician's wife who's been burned in her husband's sex scandal, Hillary Clinton. Weiner and Abedin had not had a chance to discuss his political future in detail face-to-face because Abedin chose to stay on board a State Department trip to the Middle East and North Africa that began last week, shortly after Congressman Weiner confessed to her about sending lewd images of himself and having online and phone relationships with other women.
Abdein returned to the U.S. Wednesday morning. Congressman Weiner is on a two-week leave of absence while he seeks treatment for sex addiction at an undisclosed location. Abedin may stay with her husband at the the place where he is receiving treatment, or she may stay at their Kew Gardens, Queens, home.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the word from members of the Democratic caucus is that Weiner's resignation is imminent.
"Hopefully, we are hearing he might resign in a couple of days," is what New York Democratic congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said as she walked into a meeting of the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Members of the caucus who were in the meeting told CNN that the leader of their party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, told them that Representative Weiner will resign.
However, there is no guarantee that that will happen, and there is actually nothing that Weiner's colleagues can do, even though he remains in the headlines for having sent lewd photos of himself, sexting and having had phone sex with women other than his wife. Members of congress can strip Congressman Weiner of his position on the important Energy and Commerce Committee, and even pass a resolution calling for him to step down.
In the end, though, the decision is his. If Weiner were to serve the rest of his term, as a recent poll shows that a majority of his constituents wants, he would be in good company of prominent politicians who did not resign. Two current members of congress got re-elected after admitting to sexual escapades. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) ended up on a list of clients of a high-end Washington madam in 2007, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) hired and lived with a male prostitute in the 1980's.
Former president Bill Clinton's dalliances are well known. He, of course served out his presidential term despite being impeached over lying to investigators about the Monica Lewinsky affair. Idaho senator Larry Craig was arrested for seeking a same-sex encounter in a bathroom in 2007, a charge he later denied. He remained in office until the end of his term in 2009, but did not seek re-election.