Another top aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has abruptly resigned amidst a federal investigation of the Congressman over issues including potential child sex trafficking. The aide, Devin Murphy, had worked with Gaetz since the Trump ally took office in Congress in 2017 and had been serving as his legislative director. According to The New York Times, Murphy “told associates that he was interested in writing bills, not working at TMZ — equating the work that Mr. Gaetz’s aides were now handling to the tabloid publication, according to one of the people, who all asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive personnel matter.”
Murphy’s departure follows the exit of Luke Ball, who had been serving as Gaetz’s communications director. This week, as scrutiny of the Congressman continues to grow, a prosecutor and defense attorney involved in the Central Florida court case of ex-county official and noted Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg revealed that he was preparing to plead guilty, and a plea deal seems likely to include an agreement for Greenberg to cooperate with other relevant prosecutorial efforts — including the Gaetz investigation.
Fritz Scheller, Greenberg’s attorney, said that he was “sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable” following the Thursday revelation that Greenberg was preparing to plead guilty. Greenberg is charged with, among other crimes, child sex trafficking, and Gaetz has been under federal investigation over potentially victimizing the same then-17-year-old. This week, The Daily Beast revealed that Greenberg’s Venmo records revealed a $900 cash transfer from the Congressman to Greenberg that came with a directive in a memo line to “hit up” a certain 18-year-old. The next morning, Greenberg sent that 18-year-old (and others) an overall total of $900.
“I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” – attorney for Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg on whether Congressman has anything to worry about now that his friend & associate is likely to plea. pic.twitter.com/YiAe7f4SA9
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCNN) April 8, 2021
Gaetz’s days in office could be numbered. Besides his potential involvement in child sex trafficking, other reporting already revealed that he’s also been under investigation for potential violations of federal anti-prostitution provisions. According to a recent CBS report, Gaetz has also drawn scrutiny from investigators over a trip that he took to the Bahamas that possibly involved escorts and could have thus constituted international human trafficking. Suspiciously, a Gaetz spokesperson speaking on behalf of the Congressman complained about the media’s supposed reliance on “euphemism” in their reporting on his situation — as if he doesn’t actually deny some of the alleged actions and instead just has an issue with the way they’ve been described.