It wasn’t just Rep. Tim Murphy’s abortion antics that forced him to resign from Congress this week, but how the pro-life Pennsylvania Republican ran his Congressional office, allowing his chief of staff to bully other aides.
Politico reported that senior Republicans feared that negative stories about Murphy’s office would come gushing out if he remained on Capitol Hill until the end of his term, as he originally announced he would do – so they pressured him to quit at an earlier date.
He’ll be gone on October 21, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had unearthed a memo, purportedly written by Murphy’s Chief of Staff Susan Mosychuk, which criticized his ‘inability to hire and retain competent staff’ along with his ‘hostile, erratic, unstable, angry, aggressive and abusive behavior.’
But former staffers are pointing fingers at Mosychuk, saying: ‘It’s what she would do.’
Anti-abortion Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. (pictured, March 2015), not only asked his mistress to get an abortion, but allowed his chief of staff to be verbally abusive to other staff, Politico reported
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. (center), reportedly allowed his chief of staff Susan Mosychuk (second from right, in front), verbally abuse other members of his staff, a number of former aides say
Murphy admitted to having an affair with ‘friend’ Shannon Edwards (left), while he was married to wife Nanette Missig (right). Edwards said the pro-life advocate asked her to get an abortion
‘The description in the memo is not what he does,’ an aide told Politico. ‘She was the one who would verbally abuse staff. He was bad, but you can deal with a tough member. She was literally terrorizing people.’
Staffers detailed an extremely cozy relationship between Mosychuk and Murphy, with Nick Rodondo, Murphy’s former district director, saying on Pittsburgh’s KDKA radio that he saw the two of them feed each other at events.
‘It was one of the worst places I have ever worked in my life. There was screaming. Intimidation. Nothing you ever did was right,’ Rodondo also said.
Mosychuk deployed Mean Girls tactics like calling staffers out on their bathroom breaks, hauling them back into the office. She’d make staffers who angered her take the stairs, refusing to ride with them in the elevator. And she’d keep her screams hidden to constituents by using a white noise machine to drown them out, Politico all found.
The publication also reported that she’s verbally abuse aides, calling them ‘worthless,’ their work ‘garbage,’ and asking them, ‘Do you or do you not have a f***ing college degree?’
An ex-staffer who DailyMail.com spoke to corroborated Politico’s report.
‘Working there was a nightmare,’ the aide said. ‘I cried every other day in that office because of Susan.’
The staffer recalled being ‘dragged’ into Mosychuk’s office who was ‘furious’ that the D.C.-based aide was claiming mileage expenses for driving the congressman around in the aide’s personal car, with Mosychuk saying the money needed to go to the lawmaker’s district staffers.
Meanwhile, for several years Mosychuk received money from both Murphy’s congressional office budget and his campaign, which may have violated House rules.
During 2008, Mosychuk earned between $156,500 and $231,500 on Capitol Hill, Politico learned, and brought in another $75,000 from the campaign.
But that year the House Ethics Committee had capped outside income for top aides at $25,830.
The cap was slightly more in 2010, at $26,550.
However, Mosychuk reported earning $47,000 from the campaign, as well as $158,600 from the Congressional office.
Mosychuk, through a Murphy spokeswoman, said this was permissible because she took ‘leave without pay’ when she worked for the campaign.
‘Ms. Mosychuk’s salary and compensation is documented, reported and in full compliance with all the rules prescribed by the House Committee on Ethics,’ Murphys’ Communications Director Carly Atchison said in a statement to Politico. ‘As a matter of public record, this includes both her congressional salary and compensation earned from the campaign while on [leave without pay] status in 2008 and 2010, fully documented and compliant with House rules.’
It was Ryan on Thursday who announced publicly that Murphy was out.
Murphy publicly posted on Facebook about how he supports the bill to protect human life
‘It was Dr. Murphy’s decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it,’ Ryan said. ‘We thank him for his many years of tireless work on mental health issues here in Congress and his service to the country as a Naval reserve officer.’
The 65-year-old Murphy had an affair with 32-year-old Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh forensic psychologist who had offered to help him with his mental health legislation that got signed by President Obama last year.
Text messages revealed during Edwards’ divorce proceedings revealed her asking Murphy how he could privately ask her to get an abortion while publicly declaring himself to be a pro-life conservative.
‘And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,’ she wrote, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
‘I get what you say about my March for life messages,’ Murphy responded. ‘I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.’
Edwards, it turned out, wasn’t pregnant.
Murphy is married to Nanette Missig and has an adult daughter, Bevin.
The revelation came as the House on Tuesday approved Republican legislation that would make it a crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of fetal development.
Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, is among its co-sponsors. He avoided the media in Washington after voting for the legislation, and efforts by reporters to talk to him were unsuccessful.
NARAL Pro-Choice America quickly criticized ‘the height of hypocrisy’ displayed by Murphy’s support for the legislation.
‘You shouldn’t have to be a member of Congress just to access your right to abortion,’ said Sasha Bruce, a vice president for the pro-abortion rights group.
In the past the US congressman has been applauded by the Family Research Council for his views on abortion.
The HR 7 bill was passed by congress in January, which states the use of federal funds to pay for abortions will be permanently prohibited.
The law also states that federal medical facilities and health professionals aren’t allowed to provide abortion services.
‘I proudly sponsored and voted for this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn,’ said Murphy at the time.
‘Passage of HR 7 in the wake of the President’s executive action gives me great hope we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.’
Murphy recently acknowledged his affair with Edwards, which became public as a result of her divorce proceedings.
In a press statement he said: ‘Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend. This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses. To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me.
‘I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone,’ the statement added.
Edwards is a practicing psychologist and performs evaluations of defendants for the Allegheny County court system.
Edwards maintains that she did not begin to have a intimate relationship with Murphy until her marriage had fallen apart.
‘We had a collegial and friend relationship before anything else,’ Edwards told the court.
Dr. Jesse Sally, who married Edwards on July 28, 2012, however, claims that his marriage was destroyed by the affair, and filings showed that he knew Edwards was having an affair with ‘a well-known political figure in the community.’
Sally said he believed the affair began in February 2016.
Murphy said that his relationship with Edwards ended last year.