Anthony Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months

Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in his sexting case.

He pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government, to a one-count Information, charging him with transferring obscene material to a minor from January through March 2016, in violation of 18 USC 1470. The statute prohibits “knowingly transfer{ing] obscene matter to another individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, knowing that such other individual has not attained the age of 16 years, or attempt[ing] to do so.”

His guideline range would have been 135 to 168 months but the statutory maximum for the crime he pleaded to was 10 years, so that made his guideline range 120 months. The Government and Weiner agreed that a sentence within the range of 21 to 27 months’ imprisonment would be fair, but Weiner was allowed to argue for a lesser sentence, including probation.

According to the Government's brief, Probation had recommended 27 months. So he got the bottom of the agreed upon range. He will voluntarily surrender to whatever facility or institution is designated by the Bureau of Prisons on November 2.

The Government said in its brief that it does not contend that Weiner engaged in inappropriate exchanges with other minors "or that he is a pedophile."[More...]

Weiner's lawyers, in their sentencing memo, pointed to the lack of evidence that he attempted to meet the minor victim or seek out other minors, and the fact that none of his devices revealed that he had searched for, possessed, or exchanged child p*rnography. Also, he argued he “responded to the victim’s request for s*xually explicit messages not because she was a teenager, but in spite of it.”

Weiner's sentencing brief is 71 pages with a lot of letters attached, including several from his political days and many from doctors and therapists extolling his treatment progress.

On the FBI and Comey and the emails: Weiner's brief says the law enforcement leaks did not come from the U.S. Attorney's office. He mentions how quick Donald Trump was in capitalizing on it. On the Comey disclosure:

The rest is history. Following Secretary Clinton’s loss on November 8, 2017, some election analysts concluded that Mr. Comey’s letter cost Secretary Clinton the election....

.... when Director Comey was called to Congress to face criticism for his pre-election disclosures, he justified his actions in part by claiming that the evidence seized in the instant case showed that Anthony’s wife had “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information” to Anthony.

This was wildly wrong—Ms. Abedin had forwarded only a “small number” of emailsto Anthony, only two of which contained information that was later deemed classified, and all of which had been previously seen by the FBI.

While the FBI quietly corrected this testimony days later, the damage had already been done, prompting calls to investigate Anthony and his wife that continue to this day.

By pleading guilty so early, before he even received discovery, his lawyers say he avoided being charged with additional offenses such as child p*rnography “production” that carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence.

What was the motive of the juvenile who sought him out and then sold her story to the Daily Mail for $30k? According to Weiner's brief, while the Government did not have to provide discovery, they did have to provide Brady material, and the material provided established that her motive was to influence the 2016 election against Hillary and make money by writing a book:

JD first contacted Anthony on Twitter on the night of January 23rd (PSR ¶ 6)[(Presentence Report)], announcing herself as a “huge fan.”12 In fact, and unbeknownst to Anthony, JD was looking for material for a book— one she has now written and is shopping to publishers. (PSR ¶ 19.) As she later stated to Government investigators, she also hoped somehow to influence the U.S. presidential election, in addition to securing personal profit. (Id.)

...In May 2016, JD took the first step toward monetizing the story of her interactions with Anthony. As described in a New Yorker article covering the investigation, JD sought assistance from Sydney Leathers, whose disclosures effectively ended Anthony’s 2013 mayoral campaign. JD asked Ms. Leathers for help in publicizing her exchanges with Anthony and “talk[ed] about potentially messing with Hillary’s campaign.b Ms. Leathers then connected JD with the Daily Mail, which paid a “sizeable fee” to both Ms. Leathers and JD for the story — with JD alone receiving $30,000, according to the Government. (See id.; PSR ¶ 19.)

...More recently, as JD shops the book about Anthony that motivated her encounters with him, she appeared on Inside Edition on September 11, 2017, for what the Government disclosed was a $10,000 fee and an all expenses-paid trip. (See PSR ¶ 19.)

The Government's brief did not disagree with Weiner's recitation of the minor's motives, it merely said they were not relevant.

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