Pelosi asks ethics panel to investigate Rep. Weiner’s conduct

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called on the top members of the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). 

In a letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said an investigation of Weiner is needed due to “inappropriate” conduct. 

“On June 6, 2011, Representative Anthony Weiner disclosed conduct which he described as inappropriate,” the letter reads. “An investigation by the Ethics Committee to determine whether the Rules of the House of Representatives have been violated is warranted.”

{mosads}Pelosi’s call for an investigation is in response to Weiner’s admission on Monday that he sent out a tweet of his waist area on his Twitter account as well has had “inappropriate” correspondence with six women over the internet over the last three years. The episode has been dubbed “Weinergate” by the New York tabloids. 

In response to Weiner’s admission, Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) have called for an ethics investigation. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday said Weiner should resign. 

Pelosi’s letter is not an official complaint to the House Ethics Committee and does not automatically launch an investigation. If an official complaint is filed with the committee, it must notify Weiner and give him the opportunity to respond. The committee will then decide to either dismiss the matter or to establish an investigative subcommittee. 

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), an eight-member board consisting of former lawmakers, House officers and lawyers, may also decide to review the allegations against Weiner and make a recommendation to the House Ethics Committee on whether the panel should launch an official investigation into the matter. The Ethics Committee does not have to abide by the recommendation. 

Alternatively, the House Ethics Committee may decide that it has enough information on its own to establish an investigative subcommittee to look at Weiner, even without an official complaint. 

During a press conference Monday Weiner said he had no plans to resign his seat. He also said he would cooperate with any investigation. 

Jordy Yager contributed. Updated at 4:09 p.m.

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