Another top aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has resigned, a person familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast on Thursday.
Devin Murphy, who had served as Gaetz’s legislative director on Capitol Hill, officially bolted on Friday, as the scandal surrounding a federal probe into Gaetz’s alleged sexual misconduct continued to balloon. On Thursday evening, The Daily Beast reported that Gaetz had Venmo'd $900 to his friend and alleged child sex trafficker Joel Greenberg in May 2018. Greenberg subsequently paid that same amount of money to three women, one of whom had turned 18 just five months prior.
Murphy’s resignation was first reported by The New York Times. According to the Times, Murphy had confided in associates that he wasn’t interested in being caught up in a “TMZ”-type environment.
Murphy did not respond to The Daily Beast’s repeated requests for comment on Thursday. Gaetz did not immediately reply, either.
Murphy had worked for Gaetz since February 2017, almost immediately after the top Donald Trump ally stepped on Capitol Hill, according to Legistorm, the unofficial online congressional directory. He started in the office as a junior legislative aide and was promoted to legislative director in December 2018. Murphy’s LinkedIn page does not name which member of Congress he worked for—it is listed simply as “U.S. House of Representatives”—but indicated that work ended in April 2021. His other employment dates line up with those on Legistorm.
Murphy is the second Gaetz staffer to leave the office since The New York Times reported on March 31 that the congressman is under scrutiny by federal investigators looking into whether he paid underage girls for sex, among other things. His communications director, Luke Ball, resigned last week. A statement from Gaetz’s office said the two parties agreed “it would be best to part ways.”
The departure adds to what was already a difficult day for the congressman. On Thursday, Gaetz’s companion Joel Greenberg—his friend and political ally said to be his link to young women and girls—appeared in a Florida court, reportedly ready to take a plea deal with the feds and cooperate in their Gaetz probe. “I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg’s defense attorney told reporters in Orlando.
Shortly after, the congressman’s office released a statement signed by the women in his office attesting to his character, though only one, his chief of staff, attached her name.
The congressman himself has resisted calls to resign as he insists that the underage sex and sex trafficking claims against him are false and being used to extort him and his family.
And his two now-former aides aren’t the only ones close (or, once close) to Gaetz who are distancing themselves from the MAGA icon. As The Daily Beast reported late last week, former President Trump—no stranger to standing up for pals, or himself, when accused of sexual misconduct or assault—has been privately warned by several advisers to keep his mouth shut about the Gaetz scandal as much as possible. For the time being, the twice-impeached ex-president has almost entirely complied with their pleas.
“For something like this, a ten-foot pole is not long enough,” said Barry Bennett, a longtime Republican operative and lobbyist who advised Trump during his 2016 run. “The former president should stay as far away from this as possible.”