The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2011 file photo, Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. A spokesman for Weiner on Sunday, May 29, 2011 said that a lewd photograph sent from the Democrat FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2011 file photo, Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. A spokesman for Weiner on Sunday, May 29, 2011 said that a lewd photograph sent from the Democrat's Twitter account is just "a distraction" perpetrated by a hacker.(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)  

Weiner spokesman: ‘We’ve retained counsel to explore’ possible ‘civil or criminal actions’

A spokesman for Rep. Anthony Weiner, New York Democrat, told The Daily Caller the congressman’s team has “retained counsel” and is exploring the “proper next steps” after his official Twitter account posted a picture of a man’s erect penis underneath gray boxer shorts.

The Internet-driven scandal has come to be known online as “#Weinergate,” a pun on the Congressman’s last name.

“We’ve retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken,” Weiner spokesman Dave Arnold said in an email. “This was a prank. We are loath to treat it as more, but we are relying on professional advice.”

Weiner maintains that he thinks the issue is a distraction started and driven by conservatives. “At a time when the GOP is playing games with the debt limit, a member of the Supreme Court is refusing to recuse himself from matters he has a financial interest in, and middle class incomes are stagnant, many want to change the subject. I don’t,” Weiner said in an email to TheDC. “This was a prank, and a silly one. I’m focused on my work.”

It remains to be seen what type of official investigation will ensue, if any, into the allegations Weiner has made that his Facebook and Twitter accounts were hacked. The FBI and Capitol Hill police have not responded to TheDC’s requests for comment or clarification, but, seeing as Weiner is a member of Congress, he has access to highly sensitive information that may have been compromised during a potential hack.

In response to a tweet in which TheDC’s Jim Treacher asked him why Twitter hasn’t shut down Weiner’s official “verified” account while the company investigates the hack, Twitter spokesman Adam Sharp tweeted, “As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on individual user accounts, for privacy reasons.”

Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government first reported Weiner’s Twitter account’s posting of the lewd picture and how the New York Democrat removed it almost immediately.