Federal prosecutors are considering whether to bring child pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), according to a new report.
The possible charges stem from Weiner’s allegedly sexually explicit exchanges with a 15-year-old girl last year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Journal said the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office are investigating Weiner’s interactions with the teenager.
Weiner’s electronic devices — including a cell phone and a laptop — have been seized as part of the ongoing probe into the former congressman’s behavior.
The FBI’s investigation into Weiner roiled last year’s presidential race when the agency discovered new communications on Weiner’s devices that it said at the time may have been “pertinent” to its probe of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s private email server. The FBI later said that the messages had no impact on its investigation into Clinton.
People familiar with the discussions confirmed to the WSJ that Weiner’s attorneys had met with federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
The WSJ reported that a possible child pornography charge carries a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Weiner allegedly solicited explicit images from the girl.
Prosecutors are also believed to be weighing a receipt of child pornography charge, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, and a possession of child pornography charge, which has no minimum sentence.
It’s not clear what investigators have uncovered through the course of the probe. Federal child pornography laws are broadly written, the WSJ noted, and prosecutors often take contextual evidence into account when settling on charges.