On Friday, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) accepted a plea deal in a Manhattan courtroom to a charge of “transfer of obscene material to a minor.” WhoWhatWhy has learned that much of what we know about this crime — which played a major role in the outcome of the election — is a lie.Read more here.
...A WhoWhatWhy investigation has uncovered numerous substantive falsehoods and mischaracterizations — raising doubts about a case that changed the 2016 election and American history:
• The girl was presented in news accounts — and Weiner’s plea deal — as being 15 at the time, that is, under the age of consent in her state. She was not.
• Weiner’s victim and her family were not, as represented, Clinton fans — they actually were strong Trump enthusiasts. Her story was trusted in part because she was characterized as having no axe to grind with Clinton or the Democrats.
• Weiner’s “sexting” partner was not simply a victim. Contrary to tabloid accounts, she initiated the contact with Weiner. And she went out of her way to seek advice from a GOP-associated figure behind prior efforts to harm Weiner and other Democrats.
...Since then, WhoWhatWhy has uncovered new information that shatters the commonly accepted narrative, which was first laid out by the pro-Trump, widely read British tabloid Daily Mail on September 21.
A key break came when, utilizing an array of sophisticated forensic techniques, we uncovered the girl’s true identity. We verified that we had the right person with four individuals close to or connected to her — including her former teacher and her own mother. By identifying the girl, we were then able to learn a great deal about her and her family. And that in turn led to the discovery of the lies.
The young woman has since turned 18, but because she was a minor at the time, we have decided not to publicly identify her.
According to the media accounts of this story and Weiner’s plea deal, the girl “had not attained the age of 16 years.”
However, our research shows that the girl was in fact not “15 and a sophomore” as the Daily Mail reported, when she initiated contact with Weiner. A court record shows that she was just shy of her 17th birthday at the time she approached him.
In addition, her extensive social media footprint provides further evidence. For example, she posted a picture in 2014 on her 15th birthday after having been given a North Carolina learner’s permit.
The lie that she was 15 years old when Weiner sent her obscene material seems clearly designed to produce the maximum public outrage and put Weiner in greater legal jeopardy — and the media-generated uproar may well have compelled the authorities to become involved and seize the computer with Clinton’s emails.
It should be noted that prosecutors, judges and juries view interactions with minors differently, based on the precise age of the minor: 15 is worse than 16, which is worse than 17, the real age of the girl for much of the period during which she interacted with Weiner, and her age when she approached the media.
Under North Carolina law, at 16, she was in fact above the age of consent. Ultimately, this would not matter because Weiner pled guilty to being under the impression that she was only 15, and she was still below the federal age of consent — the standard applicable in the case. Regardless of what he stipulated as part of his plea agreement, among the trove of incriminating messages it published, the Daily Mail provided no evidence that the girl actually told Weiner she was 15, only that she was in high school.
To those primarily focused on Weiner’s illicit behavior with a teenager, these legal definitions may be beside the point. But any lies at all in a matter so crucial — especially ones that have gone unchecked for so long — must be treated as indicative of a larger, politically motivated deception.
Plus, if this “lie,” misrepresentation of fact, or material inaccuracy found its way into a government pleading in what became the United States v. Weiner case, it would have legal consequences. But we may never know, because the way Anthony Weiner’s plea deal is structured inhibits further inquiry by dispensing with the matter while revealing no details about the underlying history.
Issue #2: The victim lied about political loyalties
She described herself as a “big fan” of the Clintons. She further stated that she so disliked Trump that if he were elected, she would move to Germany. Thus, she seemed to have no political agenda at all in “outing” Weiner.
However, the girl actually celebrated Trump’s victory on social media. (It should be noted that her various accounts, such as Twitter and Instagram, were set to private after news of Weiner’s plea deal broke. WhoWhatWhy has preserved screenshots of the tweets and Instagram posts in question.)
Her father is a registered Republican. She and her mother tweeted derisively about the Black Lives Matter movement. Her late grandmother was a Tea Party activist. These are not Hillary Clinton fans.
...Incidentally, another falsehood that emanated directly from the original Daily Mail article — that her father is an attorney — found its way into a May 9, 2017, New Yorker piece.
...Beyond the fact that the father is not a lawyer, it may be relevant that he has been arrested numerous times for crimes, including assault by strangulation — according to court records.
Monday, May 22, 2017
New facts uncovered in Weiner sexting case
At the WhoWhatWhy website today, Matthew Harvey, Michael Dwyer, Jonathan Z. Larsen, and Russ Baker report,