It’s official. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who resigned in disgrace over a bizarre sexting scandal this past June, was NOT hacked.
Today, eight months after the congressman first claimed he was the victim of a hacking or a prank, the NY Daily News has broken the story that Anthony Weiner spent more than $13,000 in campaign funds to hire private investigators to track down a hacker that never existed.
Weiner paid T&M, a Manhattan-based firm, $13,290 for “legal services” in the fourth quarter of 2011, financial statements filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission reveal.
Sources told the Daily News, however, that Weiner hired T&M — a firm loaded with former NYPD sleuths — when he was in full spin mode over the controversy that eventually led to his resignation from the House.
Two sources familiar with Weiner’s downfall said the Queens pol told investigators the same story. T&M investigated — and learned Weiner had sent them on a fool’s errand.
“They did their job, and then it was time to sit down with lawyers,” another source said. “Self-denial, it dies a slow death.”
Surprised? No, neither were we.
The married congressman from Queens, NY initially told the public his Twitter and Facebook accounts had been hacked, after a tweet sent to a female college student in Washington state appeared in his public Twitter timeline, complete with a photo of a man’s bulging underpants.
The tweet triggered the unraveling of a series of sexually explicit online messages and additional photos Weiner had shared with numerous women. More than two weeks would pass before Weiner finally came clean about his extracurricular activities. But not before embarking upon a media blitz to embellish his imaginary tale of hackers and pranksters and other political scapegoats:
“You know, I can’t say with certitude. My system was hacked. Pictures can be manipulated, pictures can be dropped in and inserted,” reported HotAir.
“At a time when the GOP is playing games with the debt limit, a member of the Supreme Court is refusing to recuse himself from matters he has a financial interest in, and middle class incomes are stagnant, many want to change the subject,” Weiner said in a statement emailed to POLITICO by his office. “I don’t. This was a prank, and a silly one. I’m focused on my work.”
Anthony Weiner indicated at the time that he’d asked a firm to look into whether his photos “could have been taken or manipulated,” followed shortly thereafter with the announcement that he’d hired an attorney to explore “civil or criminal actions” in response to the “prank.” Now we learn that he used campaign funds to try and cover his hide. And The Hill is reporting that Weiner continued to spend more than $130,000 in campaign cash even after his resignation.
This may be a good time for some to reflect on the unwarranted over-zealous scrutiny that fell upon Andrew Breitbart and other writers associated with these very websites who were accused of targeting, setting up, and/or hacking Congressman Weiner (or other ludicrous conspiracy theories), accusations that are often still repeated today, months after Weiner’s admission and resignation. And one of the whistleblowers who stuck through the story has since had his life turned upside down, largely as a result of Weiner’s dishonesty (I won’t link to the horrid posts).
Might I remind these same critics that BigGovernment, which first broke the Weinergate scandal, reported the facts and did so responsibly, despite numerous claims to the contrary. The dishonest party in this story is the one who no longer holds a seat in Congress. And that’s a fact.