WASHINGTON — A second senior aide to Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, abruptly quit in latest days because the congressman tries to fend off a Justice Department intercourse trafficking investigation and mounting public scrutiny, in accordance to three folks conversant in the choice.
The aide, Devin Murphy, resigned as Mr. Gaetz’s legislative director on Friday. He informed associates that he was concerned with writing payments, not working at TMZ — equating the work that Mr. Gaetz’s aides have been now dealing with to the tabloid publication, in accordance to one of many folks, who all requested not to be recognized discussing a delicate personnel matter.
His departure final week got here hours after Mr. Gaetz’s communications director, Luke Ball, additionally resigned. They have been among the many most senior members of the congressman’s workers in Washington and their exits recommend that whilst he vows to stay within the House, Mr. Gaetz could also be dealing with a hollowing-out of his assist staff.
Mr. Murphy, who had labored for Mr. Gaetz since he got here to Congress in 2017, declined to touch upon Thursday, however his LinkedIn web page recorded that he left his place this month. The congressman’s workplace additionally declined to remark. One of the individuals who confirmed Mr. Murphy’s departure said the parting had not been contentious.
Mr. Gaetz confronted one other setback on Thursday when legal professionals for the federal government and a key ally ensnared within the scandal, Joel Greenberg, said in court docket that he was doubtless to plead responsible, indicating he may cooperate with investigators. The Justice Department is scrutinizing whether or not Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Gaetz ran afoul of federal intercourse trafficking legal guidelines by paying ladies for intercourse and having intercourse with a 17-year-old lady in trade for one thing of worth.
With few exterior allies coming to his protection, Mr. Gaetz’s workplace issued an announcement on Thursday from ladies who work for him extolling his respect for them. It was signed merely “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz,” with none named signatories.
“Congressman Gaetz has always been a principled and morally grounded leader,” it said. “At no time has any one of us experienced or witnessed anything less than the utmost professionalism and respect. No hint of impropriety. No ounce of untruthfulness.”
Citing media experiences concerning the Justice Department inquiry, the assertion said the ladies “uniformly reject these allegations as false.”