Former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner is expected to plead guilty in a Manhattan court on Friday to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor.
The “sexting” scandal that brought down Weiner stems from alleged obscene messages the former congressman sent to a 15-year-old North Carolina girl. According to The New York Times, Weiner's plea is part of a deal with the United States attorney's office in Manhattan.
Citing two people who have been briefed on the matter, The New York Times reports that Weiner's plea deal will likely involve him registering as a sex offender. Weiner's sentence could range anywhere from zero to ten years in prison at the discretion of the judge presiding over his case.
The federal investigation into Weiner's alleged criminal activity entangled both his estranged wife Huma Abedin and then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton:
It was during the investigation that the F.B.I. seized Mr. Weiner’s electronic devices, including a laptop computer on which agents found a trove of emails to his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton. That discovery led to the surprise announcement in late October by James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, that the bureau was conducting a new investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of official email, an inquiry that ended two days before the election, with no charges brought.
Clinton recently blamed a letter sent to Congress about the new developments from then-director Comey for her surprise election loss in November.
Weiner's alleged illicit communications with an underage girl were first reported by The Daily Mail in September. According to that report, Weiner was aware that the girl he was in contact with was underage.
In 2011, Anthony Weiner resigned from Congress after evidence of a separate sexting scandal surfaced. After lewd pictures of the congressman appeared on the internet, Weiner claimed he had been hacked. Weiner would later admit that he had knowingly sent the picture and engaged in inappropriate conversations over the internet.