- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2001

D.C. police detectives and FBI agents yesterday interviewed Rep. Gary A. Condit's wife about the disappearance of Chandra Ann Levy, while Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said attention on the California Democrat detracts from the effort to find the missing intern.
"We're not the sex police here," Chief Ramsey said during an impromptu press conference after appearing on WTOP Radio's "Ask the Chief" program. He was referring to speculation that Mr. Condit and Miss Levy were romantically involved and to reports that the married congressman has had affairs with other women.
Abbe D. Lowell, Mr. Condit's attorney in Washington, yesterday issued a statement saying the Condits flew here from California on Wednesday, explaining why Mr. Condit missed Fourth of July celebrations in his congressional district, which includes Miss Levy's hometown of Modesto, Calif.
Mr. Lowell also confirmed that Mr. Condit's wife, Carolyn, was interviewed by local authorities. The FBI's Washington Field Office referred calls to the Metropolitan Police Department, where a spokesman would neither confirm nor deny that authorities had interviewed Mrs. Condit. Police had long sought to interview Mrs. Condit, who was in the District when Miss Levy vanished about nine weeks ago.
Meanwhile, police recovered from a Northern Virginia convenience store possibly the last images taken of Miss Levy before she was last seen in the District on April 30, a source familiar with the case said.
A clerk at a 7-Eleven store identified Miss Levy as a customer in a surveillance videotape that was recorded April 29, the source said. The clerk also recalled talking to Miss Levy as she shopped and confirmed to investigators that she visited the store, which is about five miles from her D.C. apartment.
"It widens the area she could have covered significantly," said the source. "It also establishes a new timeline."
Police this week said they believe Miss Levy, 24, was in her apartment in the Dupont Circle area on May 1, citing bank, phone and computer records.
Police have said there is no evidence of foul play in her disappearance, which is being investigated as a missing persons case, and that Mr. Condit is not a suspect. The congressman, 53, has said he is a friend of Miss Levy's.
Chief Ramsey yesterday ruled out suicide in the case, saying police believe Miss Levy vanished of her own accord or met with foul play. Detectives would have found her body by now if she had killed herself, the chief said.
"At some point in time, you run out of leads. You run out of things you can follow up on," he said.
Chief Ramsey reiterated that police have no evidence of foul play and no suspects for any crime, including Mr. Condit. He said police won't search his Adams Morgan apartment because they need a probable cause.
"We don't just get [search] warrants for the sake of warrants," he said. "There's a big leap between a relationship of any kind — whatever that relationship may be — to having something to do with a disappearance."
"Mr. Condit is getting this attention because of who he is," Chief Ramsey said in the WTOP interview, whose streaming-video coverage was picked up live by CNN. "We've got a lot of people out here interested in a sex scandal. I'm only interested in that if it has a connection to the missing person."
Mr. Lowell in his statement criticized the media focus on the six-term conservative Democrat, saying it is Mr. Condit's "belief that the media risks losing its focus with what has been a recent and seemingly unbounded effort to expose highly personal and private Condit family matters."
"Congressman Condit has resisted and will continue to resist efforts by the media to dissect and mischaracterize his and his family's private lives," said Mr. Lowell. "Unlike some, Congressman Condit remains singularly focused on what is and remains the central mission at this time — locating Chandra Levy."
The statement did not deny that Mr. Condit had an affair with a flight attendant, Miss Levy or other women.
In California yesterday, Miss Levy's parents said they believe Mr. Condit was romantically involved with their daughter and has not been entirely forthcoming with investigators, adding that they will campaign against his re-election bid.
The Washington Times on Wednesday reported that detectives have interviewed six women who said they have had romantic relationships with Mr. Condit, according to a law enforcement source.
The women came forward after Miss Levy was reported missing in early May, the law enforcement source said. They included a United Airlines flight attendant who said in a television interview Monday that Mr. Condit pressured her to deny their yearlong affair in a written statement.
"We've talked to five other women other than the flight attendant," a law enforcement source told The Times. "They are all types and ages."
Flight attendant Anne Marie Smith, 39, of San Francisco said in her interview on Fox News that she refused to sign the statement. Miss Smith, speaking in Seattle, also said Mr. Condit told her not to cooperate with the FBI, which had contacted her in the Levy investigation.
In a written statement, Mr. Condit denied telling Miss Smith to mislead investigators or not talk to the FBI. "I have not asked anyone to refrain from discussing this matter with authorities, nor have I suggested anyone mislead the authorities."
His office in California issued a statement from the law firm representing him disputing Miss Smith's account. Cotchett, Pitre and Simon said it e-mailed a "draft" statement to Jim Robinson, Miss Smith's attorney in Seattle, to clarify her relationship with the congressman regarding a tabloid magazine report about the matter, not the authorities.
Mr. Robinson was to review the statement and "edit, cut, suggest" changes before having Miss Smith sign it, the law firm statement reads. One part of the statement would have Miss Smith, under penalty of perjury, deny having had a "relationship with Congressman Condit other than being acquainted with him. I do not and have not had a romantic relationship with Congressman Condit."
Law enforcement officials refused to say whether they were investigating Mr. Condit for obstruction of justice in the wake of Miss Smith's televised statement.
A spokesman for the House ethics committee said it has no plans at this time to begin an investigation into Miss Smith's statement.

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