Everything You Should Know About the Anthony Weiner Sexting Investigation — And Its Impact on Clinton's Campaign

Federal and local law enforcement agencies began investigating Anthony Weiner's alleged online relationship with a 15-year-old girl in September

Anthony Weiner - News
Anthony Weiner. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty

The FBI announced Friday that it had uncovered new emails in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. But The New York Times later reported that the new information is actually being reviewed in connection to another investigation.

According to the Times, the FBI seized electronic devices belonging to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, as part of an investigation into illicit text messages the former New York representative allegedly sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Here’s a refresher on the key facts about Weiner’s latest sexting scandal (For more on Weiner’s first two sexting scandals — which led to his resignation from Congress in 2011 and the implosion of his mayoral campaign in 2013 — check out this timeline):

1. Weiner’s third scandal broke in August 2016, when the New York Post reported that he had been sexting another woman.

The Post reported on Weiner’s alleged text exchanges with the woman, including an image he sent of himself lying in bed next to his 4-year-old son with Abedin, Jordan. Asked for comment at the time, Weiner, 52, said he and the woman had “been friends for some time,” adding that “she has asked me not to comment except to say that our conversations were private, often included pictures of her nieces and nephews and my son and were always appropriate.”

2. Weiner and Abedin are separated.

Hours after the scandal broke, Abedin announced that she was separating from Weiner after six years of marriage. She said in a statement, “After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life.”

RELATED VIDEO: Child Services Reportedly Launch Investigation Into Anthony Weiner’s Parenting of Son Amid Sexting Scandal

3. Child Services launched an investigation into Weiner’s parenting amid the scandal.

The New York Post reported in October that the Administration for Children’s Services had launched an investigation into Weiner’s care of his son. A worker at Weiner and Abedin’s Union Square apartment in New York City reportedly confirmed to the Post that child welfare officials showed up to the couple’s residence as a part of agency protocol to “ensure that a possibly endangered child has a room to sleep in and food to eat.”

Weiner denied at the time that he had been visited or interviewed by ACS.


4. Clinton has remained loyal to Abedin throughout the sexting scandals and her marital troubles.

After the third scandal broke amid Clinton’s presidential campaign, many in the political press speculated that the Democratic nominee might cut ties with her longtime aide, who also serves as vice chairwoman of her campaign.

Asked about the rumors that Abedin had proved a distraction or political liability for the Democratic nominee, a Clinton campaign official told PEOPLE at the time, “That’s ridiculous. That’s not who this campaign is, and that’s not who Hillary Clinton is.”

And a former adviser in President Bill Clinton‘s White House who has remained close to the team told PEOPLE that Abedin’s troubles are a personal matter – not a political one: “Anyone who knows the Clintons – and knows Huma’s relationship with with them – knows they’re not seeing this as political. There are lots of things you’d call distractions in a political campaign, but this is not one of them.”

“This is the personal pain of someone who is valuable and who they adore, the source added. “To the extent that Hillary and Bill Clinton are playing a role at all, it’s to be comforting to her and to offer her the space to deal with all of this.”

5. GOP nominee Donald Trump seized on the scandal in August.

Trump was quick to link Weiner’s latest sexting scandal to Clinton’s presidential campaign. He released a statement at the time, saying, “I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It’s just another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this.”

But David Axelrod, former top advisor to President Barack Obama, now director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, told PEOPLE at the time, “It’s important to put this in its proper perspective. I don’t think anyone in America is going to vote this fall based on Huma’s marital problems … Huma is essential to Hillary and, I’m sure, will continue to be.”

6. On the heels of the New York Post report, the Daily Mail reported in September 2016 that Weiner had allegedly been sexting with a 15-year-old girl.

The Mail reported that Weiner carried out a “months-long online sexual relationship” with a 15-year-old girl. Weiner did not deny the relationship at the time, telling the Mail in a statement, “I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent. I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt.”

7. Federal and local law enforcement agencies began investigating Weiner’s alleged relationship with the 15-year-old girl in September.

PEOPLE confirmed in September that Weiner’s alleged online communications with the 15-year-old girl were being investigated by law enforcement agencies in New York and North Carolina.

A spokeswoman for Jill Westmoreland Rose, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte, said the office had “begun investigative efforts.”

The Associated Press reported that an FBI task force in New York had also begun investigating Weiner’s alleged relationship with the girl.

RELATED VIDEO: Huma Abedin Splits from Husband Anthony Weiner After He’s Caught in Third Sexting Scandal

It is unclear how long the FBI’s new investigation will take, FBI Director James Comey said Friday in his letter notifying congressional chairmen that the bureau was reviewing the emails in relation to the original Clinton probe. Comey also said he “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.”

The FBI closed its initial investigation into Clinton’s private email server in July, with Comey recommending to the Justice Department that “no charges were appropriate” in the case. He did however acknowledge that there was “evidence of potential violations” in Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of classified information.

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