May 19, 2017

Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to "sexting" a minor

Richard Drew / AP

Former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who has been under FBI investigation since January 2016 for swapping sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl, plead guilty to "transferring obscene material to a minor" in a federal courtroom Friday, per The New York Times.

According to "two people who have been briefed on the matter," Weiner agreed to a plea agreement that will likely result in him registering as a sex offender. He is also expected to face anywhere from zero to 10 years in prison, so there's a chance he may not face any jail time.

Don't forget: During the FBI's investigation into Weiner's "sexting" scandal, in which they searched his computer, authorities found a series of emails to Weiner's wife Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's top campaign aides. The findings ultimately led to a separate investigation into Clinton's emails, something Clinton credits as being partly responsible for her election loss.

Update: Huma Abedin filed for divorce today after Weiner's court hearing.

His courtroom statement:

Beginning with my service in Congress and continuing into the first half of last year, I have compulsively sought attention from women who contacted me on social media, and I engaged with many of them in both sexual and non-sexual conversations. These destructive impulses brought great devastation to family and friends, and destroyed my life's dream of public service. And yet I remained in denial even as the world around me fell apart.

In late January 2016, I was contacted by and began exchanging online messages with a stranger who said that she was a high school student and who I understood to be 15 years old. Through approximately March 2016, I engaged in obscene communications with this teenager, including sharing explicit images and encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct, just as I had done and continued to do with adult women. I knew this was as morally wrong as it was unlawful.

This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness. I had hit bottom. I entered intensive treatment, found the strength to take a moral inventory of my defects, and began a program of recovery and mental health treatment that I continue to follow every day.

I accept full responsibility for my conduct. I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse. I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl, whom I mistreated so badly. I am committed to making amends to all those I have harmed. Thank you.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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