(Photo: Reuters / Shannon Stapleton)
In the same room he began his political career 20 years ago, Rep. Anthony Weiner tendered his resignation from Congress after an intensive three-week period that began when he sent an inappropriate picture via Twitter to a 21 year-old college student in Washington State.
Standing by himself, Weiner apologized to his constituents, his colleagues and to his wife, Huma Abedin, as he acknowledged the distraction he created.
“Today I am announcing my resignation from Congress, so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representatives and most importantly that my wife and I can continue to deal with the damage I have caused,” a seemingly contrite Weiner said.
“I want to thank my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans alike – they are all patriots,” said Weiner.
Two minutes into his remarks, a heckler demanding he answer questions, interrupted Weiner, who continued with his brief statement. Weiner did not take any questions from reporters.
His colleague, Rep. Nita Lowery, issued a statement before Weiner took the stage.
“There is life after Congress for Anthony Weiner and I hope he devotes himself to repairing the damage he caused to his personal life.”
Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Israel (R-N.Y.) declined to issue a statement prior to the announcement, but stated earlier, “I’ve had repeated conversations with Congressman Weiner in which I expressed my strong feelings that he should resign for the good of himself, his family, Member of Congress and the country.”
Weiner spent the morning with his wife Huma in their New York residence. It is widely known she is pregnant but has not addressed the media or made a statement regarding her husband’s ordeal.
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, in a conversation with POLITICO on Thursday morning, said he was “shocked” it took Weiner so long to resign. However, he did suggest Weiner would one day find political redemption.
“The American public is very forgiving – they want the truth, but also contrition,” remarked Koch.
Marnee Ferree, a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor with Bethesda Workshops, said the recovery process of anyone going through a similar situation can be three to five years, or “maybe a very intense one to two years” of counseling and therapy.
“Congressman Weiner is understandably distressed. He probably needs 30-60 days of inpatient treatment, followed by a longer outpatient program,” said Ferree. “I would suggest both he and his wife receive separate counseling before they receive treatment as a couple.”
Experts such as Ferree agree that if both the husband and the wife are committed to working through the complex issues of adultery, they can successfully repair their marriage. “It will be a long road,” said Ferree.
Weiner confessed on June 6 to sending inappropriate images and text messages to six women over a three-year period. He said he did not have physical relations with any of the women.