The teenage girl who had exchanged sexually explicit text messages with former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) lied about her age and political motivations to harm Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a report by the investigative news site WhoWhatWhy.
In a report published Monday, the website said the girl who exchanged the messages with Weiner was closer to 17 and not 15, as initial reports said. That also puts her above the age of consent in North Carolina, which is 16.
In addition, she and her family were also not Clinton supporters, as the girl claimed in a letter published by BuzzFeed, according to social media posts unearthed by the website. The report also says the girl initiated the contact with Weiner.
The website suggests this could mean that Weiner was the target of a politically motivated plot.
“Seeing that Weiner is both a repeat offender — his sexting addiction cost him his job in Congress as well as a shot at becoming mayor of New York — and associated with one of the most important people in Clinton’s inner circle, it is conceivable that this was a set-up from the beginning, with the objective of embarrassing the Clinton campaign,” the WhoWhatWhy report reads.
The investigation of Weiner and his accuser led the FBI to announce just weeks before Election Day that it was again looking at Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State. It did so because it had found a number of Clinton’s emails on Weiner’s laptop, some of which were forwarded to him from his wife, Human Abedin, a longtime aide to Clinton.
Clinton lost the election, and many in her camp have blamed the FBI and its then-director, James Comey.
Weiner last week pled guilty to a charge of distributing obscene material to a minor, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
WhoWhatWhy is a nonprofit investigative reporting site that describes itself as “forensic journalism” that looks to “unearth the facts interested parties want hidden.” Its editor-in-chief and CEO is Russ Baker, who has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Baker is also the author of a book called The Family of Secrets, which alleges connections between the Bush family and historic events like Watergate during former President Richard Nixon’s presidency.
The WhoWhatWhy report, citing a court record, says the girl was just shy of 17 when she approached Weiner, and not 15 as The Daily Mail cited when it initially broke the story.
It argues that this “lie” seems “clearly designed to produce the maximum public outrage and put Weiner in greater legal jeopardy.”
WhoWhatWhy cites a number of social media messages and photographs to argue that the victim was from a Republican-friendly family and that this suggests a political trick may have been in play.
It says that the victim celebrated Trump’s victory on social media, that her father is a registered Republican and that “her mother tweeted derisively about the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“It’s not yet clear whether the motive was primarily money, a plot to smear Clinton, or both,” the report notes.