01:42 - Source: CNN
Congressional campaign accuser admits lying to FBI
CNN —  

A former aide to Carl DeMaio who accused the one-time Republican congressional candidate of sexual harassment stood by his allegations Monday, just days after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators about part of his story.

On Friday, Todd Bosnich pleaded guilty in federal court to obstruction of justice, admitting that he lied to investigators about a threatening email he received.

Bosnich told the FBI that he didn’t know who sent the anonymous email – which threatened to end his political career unless he stopped accusing DeMaio – but he suspected it came from DeMaio or his campaign.

But Friday, he admitted he wrote the email and sent it to himself to bolster his sexual harassment claims.

Last fall in an interview with CNN, Bosnich accused his former boss of sexual harassment, but the anonymous emails were not part of the story.

DeMaio denied the harassment allegations. He said Bosnich, who once worked as his policy director, broke into his campaign headquarters shortly after he was fired, and concocted the sexual harassment allegations as a cover story. Bosnich denied breaking into DeMaio’s office.

Prosecutors did not determine whether Bosnich’s sexual harassment accusations or DeMaio’s burglary allegations were true because “those aren’t federal violations,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Halpern told CNN.

The plea agreement noted that “the events that occurred immediately before and after his termination are contested.”

“Mr. Bosnich, for whatever reason, had a great deal of hostility and personal animus towards Mr. DeMaio. As a result of his feeling aggrieved, Bosnich wanted to get back at Mr. DeMaio,” Halpern said during Friday’s court hearing.

He added that Bosnich’s offense “had the potential to affect a national election.”

Asked Monday by email if he stood by his sexual harassment allegations, Bosnich said “yes.” Bosnich did not answer questions about why he lied to investigators or explain why his allegations are still credible in light of his guilty plea.

DeMaio spokesman Dave McCulloch said, “Mr. Bosnich can say whatever he wants, but in the end he is a felon and an admitted liar.”

McCulloch said DeMaio stands by his allegation that Bosnich burglarized his office.

In October, the San Diego district attorney declined to bring charges against Bosnich for the break-in or against DeMaio for sexual harassment.

Just days before the election, a second former male staffer publicly accused DeMaio of sexual harassment, a charge the DeMaio campaign called a lie.

DeMaio lost the race to the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Scott Peters, by about 6,000 votes of the roughly 190,000 cast.