Weiner to Seek Treatment, Take Leave of Absence from Congress
Democratic leaders calling for congressman's resignation
Top Democratic officials are calling to Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation. (Getty Images)
While he is seeking treatment at an undisclosed location, he will ask for a "short leave of absence" from Congress, Risa Heller said in a statement.
The decision comes as three weighty Democratic voices -- including Nancy Pelosi -- called for Weiner's resignation.
The House Minority Leader, and the chairmen of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in separate statements called for Weiner to step down.
The New York congressman has resisted calls to resign.
"Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress," Pelosi said.
DCCC chair Steve Israel also wished Weiner well in his personal life, but said that the scandal has "become an insurmountable distraction" to the House.
"The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner's continued service in Congress is untenable," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, also calling it a distraction.
The statements come as Delaware authorities are investigating contact between a local teen and Weiner.
"Detectives were made aware of alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen," New Castle County Police said in a statement. "Detectives have conducted an interview with the teen and she has made no disclosure of criminal activity nor inappropriate contact by the congressman."
Weiner's spokeswoman said the interaction with the Delaware teen was not inappropriate.
"According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent," Risa Heller said in a statement.
Pressed for answers on the Delaware allegations as he ran errands in the New York City borough of Queens on Saturday, Weiner told reporters: "Nothing explicit, nothing indecent. Absolutely nothing inappropriate."
Weiner, who is married, admitted this week that he engaged in sexually tinged communications with women and lied about it.
The New York congressman publicly apologized Monday for exchanging "messages and photos of explicit nature with about six women in the last three years." He said he communicated with women through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and, occasionally, on the phone.
"I don't know the exact ages of the women ... at least to the best of my knowledge, they were all adults, and they were engaging in conversations consensually," Weiner said Monday. "All I know is what they published about themselves in social media."
Weiner also said he never met any of the women in person.
On Saturday, he said, "I've made some serious mistakes and I'm trying to redeem myself," adding that his "remarkable" wife is doing well.
"I'm trying to get back to work," he said.
Despite mounting pressure from Democratic colleagues to resign over the sexting scandal, Weiner has said he's staying in office. Asked about the issue again Saturday, he said, "nothing has changed."
Among other things, the congressman can point to a Marist College poll released Thursday showing that a majority of registered voters in his district -- 56% -- don't believe he should step down.
Only 33% believe he should go.
Assuming Weiner stays, the question now becomes whether the House ethics panel will heed calls for an investigation from from top Democrats. Weiner has said he would welcome an ethics probe.
The code of conduct for members of Congress calls for them to conduct themselves "at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House." However, ethics experts say legislators are rarely, if ever, disciplined for violating that rule alone.
Using government technology such as telephones and computers for his sexting could be another story.
Weiner has said he used his personal BlackBerry and home computer, but added: "I don't have the knowledge of every last communication, but I don't believe that I used any government resources."
Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, are expecting a child, CNN has learned.