Over on Powerline, my pal Scott Johnson likens Weiner’s less than skillful evasions to Alger Hiss’s behavior in that infamous case. I had thought much the same thing. One key aspect of the Hiss case was Hiss’s early challenge to Chambers to make his accusations outside of the House committee room, where they would be subject to a libel lawsuit. Once Chambers did make his allegations outside the committee room (on Meet the Press I think, or something like it), Hiss promptly filed suit. This was one step in the process that led to the revelation of the “Pumpkin Papers.” No doubt Hiss thought Chambers lacked any physical evidence. Hiss’s libel lawsuit promptly collapsed, of course.
Well, a number of people in the press, like our Corner fellow traveler John Podhoretz, have publicly called Weiner a liar, with others saying they have no doubt he did it. Weiner’s complete lack of a threat to sue anyone making such charges adds to his woes; if he did sue, the inevitable discovery process will likely lead to the IP address of the person who sent the twit-pic. Don’t expect the usually aggressive Weiner to make any threats of legal action. He’ll just say he doesn’t want to “prolong the story.” (Sorry, sorry, I promise to behave now.)