Democratic leaders and the rank and file had been holding their fire pending the start of an ethics investigations but Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz became the first in her party to openly call for the resignation of colleague Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY on the heels of an online sex scandal.
Democratic Congressional leaders had so far withheld any support for Weiner after he admitted on Monday to sending a lewd photo to a Seattle woman and saying he had 'inappropriate' online relationships with six women in total. He lied about sending the photo of his bulging crotch in underpants using Twitter for over a week before recanting.
“Having the respect of your constituents is fundamental for a member of Congress. In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign, she wrote in a released statement, according to CBS.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Michaud D-MD, told WGME that it would be best for Weiner’s family if he resigned, but stopped short of calling for him to do it.
[W]hen you look at the situation, the more information that's coming out I think quite frankly it's better for him and his family if he did resign,” he said.
Also, a leading Democrat, who is now out of office, has already called for Weiner to go.
Tim Kaine, the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Governor of Virginia.
“Lying is unforgivable. Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign,” he told ABC News on Tuesday.
House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA said Tuesday he though Weiner should resign on a trip to Virginia.
We've got a lot of serious challenges going on in this country and a lot of work for Congress to do. The last thing we need is to be immersed in discussion about Congressman Weiner and his Twitter activities, he said.
Weiner, when told of Cantor's words, was defiant.
He's entitled to his viewpoint. I'm not resigning, no, he told CNN on Tuesday.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said he wouldn't even give Weiner advice, but stopped short of calling for his resignation.
He was asked what he would say if Weiner asked for his advice.
Call somebody else, Reid told reporters at a press conference in the Capitol as part of a wider press conference.
I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can't, he said.
On Tuesday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi made public a letter issued to the House ethics committee calling for an ethics probe, noting Weiner disclosed conduct which he described as inappropriate.
An investigation to determine if he broke the House rules is warranted.
A day earlier she said she was deeply saddened about the situation for Weiner's wife, family, staff and constituents.
She called for a probe to determine whether any official resources were use.