More on the Police Investigation in Delaware (Update: Johnson Beclowns Himself Further; NYT Reports, Cape and Tights Confirmed!)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Instalink! But the must-read post here is the one that almost certainly caused this whole thing to happen, when Patrick put together powerful circumstantial evidence that Rep. Weiner was sending direct messages to an underage girl.
This is an update to the earlier post Police Visit “Ethel,” because there were too many updates.
We have already seen the strangely-worded denials from Weiner’s office. Allahpundit writes that “[Weiner’s spokeswoman, Rita] Heller’s statement smacks of, ‘This is what he told me but I’m not sure if I believe him anymore either.’” Which has to be worst denial since, well… this:
Meanwhile the “Ethel” family reportedly denies it too:
“She was not targeted in any way and did not receive any inappropriate messages or photos or anything from the congressman,” a source close to the Delaware girl told the Daily News. “If she had, her family would have filed charges.”…
“The blogs have taken a few tweets from a 17-year-old kid and put their own twist on messages that were just kid stuff,” the source said. “Her family has gone through all her accounts and not found any inappropriate messages.”
[BY PATTERICO: I am deleting the next part of Aaron's post. It contains speculation that I believe not to be true, based on things I know that Aaron doesn't. -- P]
Meanwhile this old clip has become more ironic tonight:
Yeah, really terrible of Breitbart to insinuate that Weiner was acting inappropriately in direct messaging a young girl.
Anyway, the correct answer here is not to conclude that Weiner is guilty of misconduct toward this minor, but merely to conclude that there needs to be a thorough investigation. Hopefully that is what is underway.
H/t: The Other McCain.
Update: For sheer comedy, it’s hard to beat this conspiracy rumbling from Johnson:
At this point it’s impossible to defend Weiner, but … the Fox News crew was already at the house before the police arrived? Does that seem a little odd to anyone?
Not if that Fox News crew reads Patterico’s Pontifications!
Update: The New York Times reports and there are all kinds of juicy things. First they quote Weiner’s Spokewoman Rita Heller—the same language we saw above. But they add this part:
Mr. Weiner’s spokeswoman, Risa Heller, did not provide copies of the messages, but said they were not inappropriate.
Except as we know she didn’t say they were not inappropriate. She said Congressman Weiner said they were not inappropriate. And she didn’t have the copies to prove him right.
And more from the family:
A member of the girl’s family who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her identity…
Wait a minute. I get and understand that we shoudn’t give out this person’s name, because you are exposing the girl. But can’t we at least characterize the relationship? Is it her father, mother, sister, brother, aunt… what? Moving on:
…characterized the messages as “harmless” but expressed concern that Mr. Weiner had communicated privately with the teenager, a high school junior.
The family was aware that there had been exchanges between Mr. Weiner and the girl but assumed that all of their conversations had taken place on a public Twitter feed….
The family member said: “I am angry. This is surreal and unbelievable. It is absolutely crazy. We are just regular people who go to baseball games and basketball games, as ordinary and plain as can be.”
And we now know the computer is in their custody:
In the past few days, the girl and her family have become subjects of intense interest in the news media. On Friday afternoon, the local police arrived at their home and asked the girl and her mother to bring the girl’s phone and computer to the police station so they could be checked to make sure no crime had occurred.
The family member said the family complied, and did not expect any further action to be taken.
And Patrick definitely made a direct hit on one subject:
In a blog post on Tumblr, she later shared the contents of that private message from him. In it, Mr. Weiner appeared to liken himself to a superhero.
“I came back strong,” he wrote. “Large. Tights and cape. …”
Hmm, time for an expert photoshop by Aaron Worthing…
That’s a bullseye, folks.
And why are the UK Papers always outclassing the American ones? From the Telegraph:
Even worse is the possibility that underage women may have been among Weiner’s victims. It was conservative bloggers, most prominently Andrew Breitbart at Big Government, that broke the story and forced Weiner into the situation of being unable to continue lying about his Twitter account being hacked.
Now leading the Weiner web sleuthing is Patterico, who earlier today posted a detailed and convincing, though circumstantial, case that there is a very strong possibility that Weiner sent lewd messages and/or images to minors.
Update: I have to admit Bill Maher’s take on the scandal is pretty funny:
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]