Lawyers for former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner described his “operatic self-destruction” in a filing Wednesday ahead of his sentencing for trading sexually explicit messages with a minor, saying the teenager had targeted him both for personal profit and “to influence the U.S. presidential election.”
In a memo that detailed years of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit exchanges with strangers, his lawyers characterized the former congressman’s political career and personal indiscretions as driven in part by the same desire for attention.
Around 2009, Mr. Weiner, then a House representative, “began to exchange texts and other messages with constituents and admirers alike,” the memo says. “Some of the admirers were female, validating him not just as a politician, but as a man.”
The memo and letters, filed in Manhattan federal court, come in anticipation of Mr. Weiner’s sentencing, scheduled for Sept. 25, in a case in which he pleaded guilty in May to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor.
The memo asks the court for a sentence of probation that mandates treatment and community service. The charge has no mandatory minimum prison sentence but carries up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors have said they would ask for a sentence between 21 months and 27 months.