- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2001

D.C. detectives were scheduled to talk today with U.S. Rep. Gary A. Condit about the disappearance of former intern Chandra Ann Levy, Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said yesterday.
"There are some suspicious things we are trying to figure out. We are continuing to put together a timeline and a psychological profile and some of the issues raised by the family," Chief Gainer said.
Chief Gainer said Mr. Condit is not a suspect, but is someone who knew Miss Levy and possibly could determine her state of mind.
"We are trying to establish a psychological profile to see what she was thinking at the time of disappearance," he said.
The interview with the California Democrat was scheduled for the same day Miss Levys parents, Dr. Robert and Mrs. Susan Levy, planned to meet with their Washington attorney, Billy Martin.
Mr. Martin was out of town yesterday, but plans to meet the Levys today and to hold a news conference announcing he will investigate the disappearance of Miss Levy and how the police have handled the case.
Mrs. Levy said last week she believed Mr. Condit knew something more about her daughters disappearance. Mr. Condit, 53, has said through his staff that he was friends with Miss Levy, 24, but the two were not romantically involved.
Chief Gainer said detectives plan to talk to the Levys while they are in town. They arrived Tuesday night.
Randy Groves, a spokesman for Mr. Condit, declined to comment about the congressmans meeting with police. A source familiar with the investigation said Mr. Condit and his staff were upset that police leaked todays meeting with police, the congressmans second.
Mr. Martin did not return numerous calls to his office and cellular telephone. Joseph Cotchett, Mr. Condits attorney, also did not return numerous calls to his California office.
Miss Levy was last seen April 30 in Dupont Circle as she was planning to return to her Modesto, Calif., home after working as an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She was scheduled to receive her diploma from the University of Southern California on May 9.
Chief Gainer could not say whether Mr. Condit was more than a friend to the missing woman. He said Miss Levys cellular phone records showed that she called Mr. Condit, but there were not numerous calls to him immediately before her disappearance.
"There has been a lot of published communication that has caused some confusion for everybody that frantic calls were made before her disappearance. That was not the case," Chief Gainer said.
He said detectives have talked to more than 100 people who knew Miss Levy, some more than once, like Mr. Condit.
"Weve interviewed scores of people multiple times," Chief Gainer said. "It depends on their perspective and knowledge levels."
The case is spawning political intrigue concerning Mr. Condits political future even as his colleagues express concern only for finding Miss Levy.
Political analysts declared Mr. Condits political career in jeopardy.
"This is the kind of scandal that helps the opposition recruit strong candidates, dominates the media, and hurts fund raising," said analyst Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the Rothenberg Report.
The claims by Miss Levys family that he was having an extramarital affair with the intern also threaten to undermine this conservative Democrat who represents a conservative district.
"He represents a district that will not look on this with approval, should it turn out to be true that a 50-something congressman had an affair with a 20-something intern," said Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of a nonpartisan California political digest that tracks state and congressional elections.
No polls have been taken to determine if support has dropped for the popular politician since he was first linked to the intern.
However, the constant media coverage of Miss Levy and her family and Mr. Condits limited response that the two were "close friends" threatens Mr. Condits credibility, political observers say. Calls to Mr. Condits office yesterday were not returned.
"When youre getting hit by the news channels day after day, you better start getting worried. Ive got to believe that supporters in this district are very concerned," Mr. Hoffenblum said.
Chief Gainer also confirmed that police have talked to Prince Georges County detectives about the shooting deaths of Michael Eugene Patten, 29, and Lee Anne Brown, 24, who were last seen in a nightclub around the corner from Miss Levys apartment. Their badly beaten bodies were found, with gunshot wounds to the backs of their heads, in a ditch in Accokeek on June 10.
Police believe they were victims of robbery, since their money, credit cards and wallets were taken.
"We are working with the Maryland authorities while we are exploring any connections. It doesnt seem to be instructive. There is no smoking gun there at this point," Chief Gainer said.
Mr. Martin has set up a hot line for people with information in the case at 800/860-6552.
Capitol Hill Republicans say they are astonished by the media reports, and they are refusing to pile on the vulnerable Democrat who often votes with them.
"Given the partisan crosswinds around here, you would think people would jump at the chance, but that is not what is happening," said one senior House aide. "Were just waiting for the facts to sort themselves out in this whole bizarre episode."
Added one California Republican Party official: "Were not eager to plunge a knife in him."
California party officials on both sides of the aisle say they are more concerned with the missing girl than with the political ramifications.
"Nobody is thinking of anything but finding this woman," said Bob Mulholland, California campaign adviser to the Democratic National Committee.
"There is a real sense of concern by people here, as to what has happened to this young lady," said Rob Stutzman, California Republican party spokesman.
However, Republicans are watching how the matter affects the Democrat-led state legislature, which must redraw congressional districts by Sept. 15.
If Mr. Condit runs for re-election, Democrats would be likely to pull more Democrats into the 18th Congressional District. Those voters would have to come from the district of Democratic Rep. Cal Dooley, who squeaked by with 52 percent of the vote in the last election, or from a number of nearby Republican-held districts.
Either way, its a win for Republicans, Mr. Hoffenblum said.

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