Who paid for Weiner's wedding?
You've got to hand it to Anthony Weiner and Human Abedin; they seem to have a real knack for getting other people to pay for their lavish lifestyle. Not only do they live in a $3.3 million Manhattan apartment owned by a Hillary supporter, they appear to have had their lavish wedding (estimated cost: a quarter million bucks!) paid for somebody else. And because Weiner failed to disclose this gift, he may face criminal sanctions. Charles C. Johnson of the Daily Caller reports:
Anthony Weiner may have violated federal law when he failed to disclose his lavish six-figure wedding in his financial disclosure forms, says a government accountability group.
Ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center examined the federal Financial Disclosure Reports for both Weiner and long-suffering wife Huma Abedin for 2010, the year of their wedding.
The cost for the ceremony was at least $100,000 but probably ran closer to $250,000 including all accommodations, clothing and extras. Neither Weiner nor Abedin had the resources to pay for the ultra-expensive wedding, yet neither recorded gifts on their Financial Disclosure Reports for that year.
Keep in mind that at the time, Weiner served in Congress, and Huma was a top aide to the Secretary of State - both positions involving sensitive information and potential influence. Undisclosed gifts to people in such positions raise the specter of potential bribery in any circumstances.
There is potential trouble ahead:
Even though there is an exemption for gifts from personal friends, the Ethics in Government Act requires written permission from the House Ethics Committee for any Congressman getting gifts worth more than $250. Weiner had no such written permission.
There are a few fingerprints on this caper:
Abedin's wedding dress may have been almost as expensive as the wedding. Made by world-famous designer and dressmaker to Hillary Clinton, Oscar de la Renta, the custom dress would have gone for over $50,000.
Another Clintonite, Bryan Rafanelli, was the wedding planner, some three weeks before he did Chelsea Clinton's nuptials. The event was officiated by Bill Clinton, even though according to state law Clinton could not legally perform the marriage.
Abedin made only $135,000 annually working for the State Department, according to financial disclosures. Anthony Weiner made $175,000 as a congressman.
With a combined income of over 300 grand, the couple were hardly poverty-strticken. But 300 grand doesn't go that far after taxes and with houses in both DC and Manhattan. Certianly not enough money to be blowing a quarter mill on a party and fifty large on a wedding dress.
Now that Weiner is becoming an embarrassment to the Dems and to the Clintons in particular, he had better watch his step. There may be more than a few more undisclosed embarrassments that can be used as leverage against him.
The spectacle of people getting government paychecks living high on the hog - whether at lavish parties thrown by bureaucrats or at weddings paid for by mysterious others - is disgusting. The sense of entitlement is palpable.
Update: Charles Lipson writes:
Besides the possible felony of false disclosures to Congress, isn't there another legal liability: wouldn't the gifts to fund a huge, expensive wedding be taxable income, too, and, if unreported on Federal Tax returns, expose Weiner (I know, bad pun) and Abedin to the charges of filing false tax returns, too?
I would think that etiher a gift tax is due or else income taxes are due.
Related question: Has Weiner released his tax returns for 2010?