Anthony Weiner plans to step down, New York press conference scheduled

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admits to sending a lewd Twitter photo of himself to a woman and then lying about it during a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue on June 6, 2011 in New York City. Weiner said he had not met any of the women in person but had numerous sexual relationships online while married. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) Andrew Burton/Getty Images

UPDATED 11:06 a.m. ET

Rep. Anthony Weiner
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner is throwing in the towel.

After nearly three weeks of pressure building on Weiner to call it quits, the New York Democrat has planned a news conference for 2:00 p.m ET Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn to announce his resignation.

The scandal had become a distraction for House Democrats, who had raised pressure on Weiner to resign in recent days after he admitted June 6 to exchanging lewd photos and messages with women he met online.

Weiner late Wednesday told House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of his plan to step down Thursday, two Democratic aides told CBS News. Pelosi had called for his resignation Saturday and President Obama weighed in late Monday, saying if it were him, he would resign. House Speaker John Boehner called for his resignation Tuesday.

Democrats had three days in late May of talking about a special election in upstate New York that they hoped could serve as a launching pad for reclaiming control of the House of Representatives in next year's elections before Weiner's story broke and changed the topic.

Several House Democrats had signaled the resignation was coming this week.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) said Weiner was waiting his wife, Huma Abedin, to return from an overseas trip with her boss Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin returned to Washington Wednesday.

And Democratic leaders had planned a meeting for later Thursday where it was possible they could have begun steps to strip him of his committee assignments in Congress. The House Ethics Committee on Monday began a preliminary inquiry that could have bloomed into a full investigation had he decided to stay in office.

The scandal got even stranger Wednesday, when a stripper who exchanged emails and messages with Weiner said he asked her to lie about their interactions and called for him to step down.

Ginger Lee, a former porn actress who currently works as a "feature dancer" in nightclubs, said today that Weiner tried several times to engage her in sexual communication but that she never took the bait.

The White House had no immediate comment on news that Weiner would step down.

CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes discusses today's developments below:



  • Corbett Daly On Twitter»

    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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