Anthony Weiner, Peter Welch
Harry Hamburg  /  AP
Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 6.
updated 5/31/2011 5:02:52 PM ET 2011-05-31T21:02:52

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has hired a lawyer to investigate what steps to take regarding a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account, which his spokesman says was hacked.

His spokesman, Dave Arnold, says the Democrat believes it was a prank. But he's retained a lawyer to advise him on what civil or criminal actions should be taken.

The photo, which showed a man's bulging underpants, was posted on Friday. It was quickly deleted.

Arnold told The Associated Press in an email that the tweet, directed at a woman, was "a distraction" from the married New York Democrat's "important work representing his constituents."

"Anthony's accounts were obviously hacked," Arnold said. "He doesn't know the person named by the hacker, and we will be consulting on what steps to take next."

It first was reported Saturday by BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart.

The site said the photo was tweeted to a woman in Seattle.

The congressman later joked about it on Twitter, asking whether his kitchen blender would be next to "attack" him.

Weiner represents New York's 9th District, which covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn, where he was born and raised. He failed in a 2005 bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor of the city but still is widely considered a contender for the office.

He has worked on issues including public housing, homeland security and energy for his constituents.

Weinger, 46, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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