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Weiner Tells Friends He Will Step Down

Representative Anthony D. Weiner has told friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from his Democratic colleagues to leave the House in the wake of revelations of his lewd online exchanges with women, said a person told of Mr. Weiner’s plans.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks to the media regarding a lewd photo tweet May 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A close-up photo of underwear of a man was tweeted from Weiner's Twitter account addressed to a college student in Seattle. The photo was deleted soon after and Weiner has claimed his account was hacked.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks to the media regarding a lewd photo tweet May 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A close-up photo of underwear of a man was tweeted from Weiner's Twitter account addressed to a college student in Seattle. The photo was deleted soon after and Weiner has claimed his account was hacked.

The news comes as Democratic leaders prepared to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss whether to strip the 46-year-old Congressman of his committee assignments, a blow which would severely damage his effectiveness.

Mr. Weiner, a Democrat, came to the conclusion that he could no longer serve after having long discussions with his wife, Huma Abedin, when she returned home on Tuesday after traveling abroad with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Pressure on Mr. Weiner to leave the House has been building for days, with top House Democrats, including Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, coming forward over the weekend publicly urge him to spare himself, his family and his party any more embarrassment.

But that pressure intensified earlier this week when President Obama publicly suggested that he should step down and Ms. Pelosi told reporters that she was prepared to strip Mr. Weiner of his committee assignments if he did not leave.

At the same time, the House ethics committee had formally opened an inquiry into Mr. Weiner’s conduct, including trading private messages with a teenage girl in Delaware. The investigation raised the prospect that he would face formal charges and sanctions, including expulsion. But with his decision to resign, the investigation is expected to end, since the committee has jurisdiction only over the actions of members of Congress.

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