Anthony Weiner and the Law's Peril

Roger Simon in today’s Politco:



And now, Anthony Weiner says he is going to hire a private firm to find out how his Twitter account was hacked, although Weiner could easily go to the U.S. Capitol Police or the FBI and ask them to do it.

Asked repeatedly why he refuses to do so, Weiner replies that the whole matter is a “prank” and not “a federal case.”

The sound you continue to hear is the clanging of bells.

It is no crime to lie to the press. If caught, all you would face is a few disgruntled reporters, and most reporters are always disgruntled.

It is no crime to lie to the public. If caught, all you would face is a few shrugs and maybe (though maybe not) defeat in the next election.

It is no crime to lie to your wife. If caught, all you would face is shame and maybe (though maybe not) divorce.

But if you lie to federal agents, even if you are not under oath, you could face three to five years at Allentown.

The relevant law is Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1001, which states, in part, that “whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully — (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than five years.”

And that is why it could be perilous for Anthony Weiner to sit down and make any statements whatsoever to any federal agents. Sending a picture of himself in his underwear to an adult is not a crime. Lying about it to federal investigators is.

Which could be why he prefers to hire a private firm rather than letting the U.S. Capitol Police or FBI agents do their job.

Will this story go away, replaced by more important stories about Medicare, the federal debt limit and bloodshed in the Mideast?

A story about sex and a politician? Just go away while there are still questions to be asked and stories to be done? Are you kidding me?

I said Anthony Weiner is bright, and he is. But bright people can do dumb things. And to have a bright political future, Weiner needs to be more than innocent. He needs to start acting like it.

Read more:

Read the whole thing here.

.