Rep. Charlie Rangel said there’s no reason for his Democratic colleague, Anthony Weiner, to resign, and that he could be an effective congressman “if the press gets off his back.”
Rangel, who survived his own ethics investigation last year for improperly reporting his financial assets, said there’s no reason for Weiner to step aside.
“Not one person has given any reason for a resignation,” said Rangel. “The Constitution is abundantly clear” on describing appropriate conduct for Congress members.
“He wasn’t going with prostitutes. He wasn’t going out with little boys. He wasn’t going into men’s room with broad stances,” Rangel said. “I mean, All of those I understand; I’m 80 years old. But high-tech stuff like this, I can’t respond. But I know immoral sex when I hear it from other members, and no one has screamed for their resignation. So I don’t know why they’re selecting Anthony.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, of Manhattan and Queens, was less supportive. She said she’s not sure if she’d support him for re-election, since it’s unclear who will be on the ballot.
And Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he hadn’t heard of any plans to re-draw Weiner’s district out of existence, joking that the two seats New York must lose “could be two Republicans.”
Silver, noting that the lines will are expected to be re-drawn by an independent for the first time, jokingly added, “I don’t know what those professors are going to do.”
This was all the reporters wanted to talk about, as one by one, elected official left a press conference this morning honoring Iranian bloggers for promoting democracy through the use of social media.
Weiner was originally scheduled to be among the attendees, but his name was removed once his problems with Twitter became known.