Another Matt Gaetz aide reportedly resigned amid an intensified Justice Department investigation.

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WASHINGTON – A second senior aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, has suddenly resigned in recent days as the congressman tries to push back a Justice Department sex trafficking investigation and growing public scrutiny, three people say close to the decision.

The aide, Devin Murphy, resigned his post as chief legislative officer to Mr Gaetz on Friday. He told his associates he was interested in drafting bills, not working at TMZ – equating the work Mr. Gaetz’s assistants now do with the tabloid publication, according to one of the people, who all asked not to be identified when discussing sensitive staff. matter.

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His departure last week came hours after Mr Gaetz’s director of communications Luke Ball resigned. They were among the most senior members of Congress staff in Washington, and their outings suggest that even if he promises to stay in the House, Gaetz risks facing a hollow out from his support team.

Mr. Murphy, who had worked for Mr. Gaetz since joining Congress in 2017, declined to comment on Thursday, but his LinkedIn page said he left his post this month. The congressman’s office also declined to comment. One of the people who confirmed Mr Murphy’s departure said the separation had not been contentious.

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Mr Gaetz faced another setback on Thursday when government lawyers and a key ally in the scandal, Joel Greenberg, told the court he was likely to plead guilty, saying he could cooperate with investigators. Justice Department examines whether Mr Greenberg and Mr Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking laws by paying women for sex and having sex with a 17-year-old girl in exchange for something of value .

With few outside allies coming to his defense, Mr Gaetz’s office on Thursday released a statement from women who work for him, touting his respect for them. It was signed simply “The Women of the Office of US Congressman Matt Gaetz,” with no signatories named.

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“Congressman Gaetz has always been a principled and morally grounded leader,” he said. “At no time have any of us experienced or witnessed anything less than the utmost professionalism and the utmost respect. No hint of impropriety. No ounce of lies. “

Citing media reports of the Justice Department’s investigation, the statement said women “consistently reject these allegations as false.”

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