Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has resigned, capping a precipitous fall that began with revelations that Weiner had been sending lewd photos to women he met online.
The representative made the official announcement at 2pm on Thursday in New York.
A steady steam of Democrats, both leadership and rank-and-file, have been pressuring Weiner to give up his seat and end what many say has become a distraction from more pressing legislative priorities. Weiner was adamant that he had not broken the law and said he would hold onto his seat, but has disappeared in recent days to seek treatment without specifying where or for what.
But a conversation with his wife, who returned home after traveling with her boss, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, convinced Weiner that he was unable to continue, according to the New York Times.
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had floated the possibility of punishing Weiner by stripping him of his committee assignments, although the party appeared to reject that idea. Two days ago President Obama added his voice to the chorus of critics urging Weiner to remove himself from Congress, saying that the scandal was making Weiner unable to peform his duties.
When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back, Obama said in an interview with NBC news.
Before the scandal engulfed Weiner he was an ascendant figure in the Democratic party, beloved by some voters for his combative style and willingness to bluntly criticize Republican policies, although some of his colleagues believed he put his career ahead of subsantive legislative accomplishments.