Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner today pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge of transmitting sexual material to a minor. The plea resulted from an investigation of his online communications with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, the Associated Press reports. He agreed not to appeal a sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison. A judge told him he would be required to register as a sex offender. The FBI began investigating Weiner in September after the North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site that she and the disgraced former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months. She also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.
The investigation led FBI agents to seize his laptop computer, which prompted the discovery of a new cache of emails that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sent to Huma Abedin, Weiner’s wife. A few days before the election, FBI director James Comey announced that his agency was reopening its investigation into Clinton’s handling of State Department business on a private email server so it could analyze the newly discovered correspondence. Then, Comey said a few days later that the new emails contained nothing to change his view that Clinton should not be charged with a crime. Clinton blamed her election loss to Donald Trump partly on Comey’s action.