The Weiner Shot That Pushed Pelosi Over the Edge

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A key actor behind Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation yesterday was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reports Politico's Mike Allen. It appears that the moment that convinced her the New York Democrat had to step down was when an X-rated picture of his nether regions was leaked to the radio DJ's of The Opie and Anthony Show and spread across the Internet.

"The turning point for Pelosi came Wednesday when additional photos emerged and the tenor of the Caucus changed," a senior Democratic aide tells Allen. "She felt that matter couldn’t wait for an Ethics investigation and that he needed leave Congress."

Though Allen doesn't mention it specifically, last Wednesday was the day the explicit photo leaked. Two days prior, Pelosi had called for the Ethics investigation. She waited to publicly call for his resignation two days after the explicit photo was published on June 11, saying “Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”

As Allen chronicles, Pelosi had a sobering discussion with Weiner a day before she publicly called for his resignation:

“During a call on Friday (6/10) [between just Weiner and Pelosi], Weiner pushed back on Pelosi urging him to resign citing polls that said there was a majority supporting him in his district. Of the polling, Pelosi said to Weiner ‘consider those rose petals to let you go graciously.’ … [On Wednesday], near the end of the White House picnic, Weiner told Israel he would resign via phone. Israel gave Pelosi his phone so she could get word from Weiner firsthand.”

Interestingly, as some may recall, the explicit photo was never supposed to be published at all. Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart said he was holding it as an "insurance policy" in case Weiner continued to deny the allegations against him and depict Breitbart as a liar. But Weiner didn't do that. Unfortunately for Weiner, Breitbart showed the producers of the Opie and Anthony Show the photo and they surreptitiously snapped a photo of the picture during that screening, according to Breitbart. Little did any of them know the photo would then move Pelosi to call for Weiner's resignation.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.