House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. Anthony Weiner after the New York congressman admitted to lying about explicit messages he sent women online.
"I am deeply disappointed and saddened about this situation; for Anthony's wife, Huma, his family, his staff and his constituents," the Democratic leader said in a statement. "I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred."
Even as he acknowledged sending lewd photos and messages online, Weiner said at a Manhattan news conference Monday afternoon that he would not resign and that he was confident he had not violated House rules or his oath as a member of Congress. He said he would make the case to his constituents that he should continue serving despite his personal failings.
Weiner, who apologized for lying to the media when an explicit photo was first circulated online, told reporters Monday that he did not use his work-issued BlackBerry to take any of them.
A spokesman for the campaign arm of House Republicans called on the Democratic leadership "to explain why Congressman Weiner's actions never aroused any suspicion, and why they rushed to his defense."
Rep. Steve Israel, who represents Long Island and chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, backed Pelosi's call for an ethics investigation.
"Congressman Anthony Weiner engaged in a deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family, and the House. Ultimately, Anthony and his constituents will make a judgment about his future," Israel said.
House Ethics Committee officials declined to comment on the matter.
Richard Simon contributed to this report.
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