Editor's note: On Nov. 23, 2015, Todd Bosnich was sentenced for obstructing justice after he admitted he created a phony email to make it appear DeMaio or his associates were threatening him. He also admitted to lying to the FBI about the email.
Anonymous emails, sent to the former staffer who accused Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio of sexual harassment, are the subject of FBI agent interviews with potential witnesses, sources have confirmed to NBC7 Investigates.
DeMaio is locked in a nasty, raging battle against first-term incumbent Rep. Scott Peters for the 52nd Congressional District.
In a CNN interview, the former DeMaio staffer, Todd Bosnich, said he was subjected to unwelcome touching and repeated sexual harassment while working on the congressional campaign for the former San Diego city councilman and 2012 mayoral candidate.
DeMaio says those claims are "outrageous lies."
In a June interview with KFMB’s Mike Slater, Bosnich also said both he and his mother had received threatening and harassing anonymous emails
On Friday, Bosnich's attorney declined to release any emails.
But several sources close to the investigation told NBC7 that FBI agents and a lawyer from the U.S. Attorney's office asked questions focused on the accusation the Bosniches had received harassing emails, and an alleged hack of his Gmail account.
The investigators also inquired about Bosnich’s claim that he was offered $50,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
A source close to the investigation told NBC7 Investigates the emails threatened Bosnich's political career and put pressure on him to accept the $50,000, saying "you better keep your mouth shut and take the deal."
FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth said his agency does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
DeMaio says Bosnich is "clearly troubled" and has "manufactured a story" to cover for a plagiarism incident. DeMaio addressed Bosnich's sexual harassment allegations Oct. 8 prior to the airing of the CNN report. DeMaio said that Bosnich had been involved in vandalism at a campaign headquarters just six days before the June primary. DeMaio said Bosnich fabricated the sexual allegations in order to divert attention away from what he says what his attack on the campaign office.
“It’s unfortunate, you know, that an individual who is the prime suspect to the break-in in our campaign office would manufacture such an outrageous lie — but again, all the evidence that was collected by the police department clearly indicated this individual was the prime suspect. And it’s unfortunate, but we will continue to allow the district attorney to proceed with her case, and weighing the case, to prosecute for the break-in of our office,” DeMaio said.
Police have not named any suspects in the break-in case.
The DeMaio campaign office in Miramar was broken into on May 28. Computer screens were smashed, cords and cables were cut, gas cards were stolen and water was poured over laptops, printers and copiers.
DeMaio also announced on NBC 7’s Sunday show “Politically Speaking” that a book containing campaign strategy documents was stolen during the May 28 break-in, and that the Peters campaign somehow received the book after the break-in.
Peters said he turned the material over to police within 24 hours of receiving it. His campaign added that nothing was contained in the stolen material that wasn’t already broadcast on social media.
On Oct. 8, DeMaio told reporters that San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman assured him he was cleared in the sexual allegations investigation. Zimmerman would not confirm this to NBC7.
"Reports of any criminal activity received by the San Diego Police Department are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly," SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer said. "Once an investigation is complete, it is turned over to the District Attorney's office for review at which point we do not provide further comment about the names of potential victims, witnesses or alleged suspects."