Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania is being called a hypocrite after leaked texts reportedly show him urging his mistress to get an abortion despite his well-known anti-abortion political views.
He first admitted to the extramarital affair on Sept. 6, after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette successfully petitioned a judge to unseal a divorce action involving the congressman.
The divorce was filed on behalf of the husband of Shannon Edwards. Edwards, a forensic psychologist, was reportedly involved in an affair with Murphy between February 2016 and sometime in the fall of that year.
As part of the case, Murphy was required to release all communications between himself and Edwards. On Oct. 3, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a text sent from Edwards to Murphy on Jan. 25.
"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 said, while facing a pregnancy scare.
Murphy had posted an anti-abortion message on his Facebook prior to the text exchange. According to The Washington Post, he lauded Congress over the passing of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act just one day before.
Murphy’s cell phone records showed that he responded later that day.
"I get what you say about my March for life messages," he said, referring to a pro-life group. "I've never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don't write any more. I will."
Murphy has made multiple statements in favor of anti-abortion legislation since then. He has not yet commented or responded to messages regarding the text exchange.
The messages could potentially present problems for Murphy in the 2018 re-elections, as pro-life supporters make up a large portion of his fan base. The Washington Post reports that he has a "flawless voting record" on abortion issues in the eyes of organizations like the Family Research Council.
The news comes on the same day as the passing of a House bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But abortion is not the only issue that has Murphy in hot water -- a memo written by his chief of staff, Susan Mosychuk, claims he perpetuated a state of "terror" in the workplace.
The memo, titled "Office Conduct and Behavior: Harassment/Legal Compliance," is dated June 8. It was obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In the memo, Mosychuk criticizes Murphy for his "inability to hire and retain competent staff," "abysmal office morale," and "hostile, erratic, unstable, angry, aggressive and abusive behavior." She claims the office has had 100 percent staff turnover in just one year.
The purpose of the memo was to describe problems in accordance with the Congressional Accountability Act and seek corrective action. Staff members at Murphy's office have not yet responded to the press for comments.
Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2), The Washington Post / Featured Image: Timmurphy/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Max Pixel, U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marjorie A. Bowlden via Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station