- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Authorities are investigating Rep. Gary A. Condit on charges of witness tampering and suborning perjury in trying to persuade a flight attendant to deny their affair in the Chandra Levy investigation, a law enforcement source told The Washington Times.
Mr. Condit, 53, has not been formally charged with a crime, and police have said he is not a suspect in Miss Levy's disappearance, which is being investigated as a missing-persons case — a noncriminal matter. But authorities suspect the California Democrat tried to persuade a flight attendant to lie about their affair to investigators searching for the missing intern.
"They want to get at the issue about the statements about being approached and asked about signing the affidavit denying an affair," a law enforcement source said. "They want to look at the whole appropriateness of it and see whether there is witness intimidation or suborning of perjury."
Anne Marie Smith, a United Airlines flight attendant who said she had an affair with the married Mr. Condit, last week said an attorney for Mr. Condit urged her to sign a sworn statement denying the affair. Miss Smith, 39, was expected to arrive in the District last night to be interviewed by investigators at the U.S. Attorney's Office today.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey yesterday said police investigators will accept an offer by Mr. Condit's attorney, Abbe Lowell, to conduct a lie-detector test on the congressman, take DNA samples, interview his staff and search his Adams Morgan apartment without a search warrant.
"When an offer like this is made, we need to do the responsible thing and follow up on that offer," Chief Ramsey said during a news conference outside police headquarters. "The Levy family has a right to have these questions answered once and for all."
Last night, D.C. police officers entered the back of Mr. Condit's apartment in the 2600 block of Adams Mill Road NW. Mr. Condit was reportedly home during the search.
The chief dismissed suggestions that police have waited too long to search the apartment, saying most forensic evidence can be detected years after an incident.
Chief Ramsey said he expects to have the details worked out for the lie-detector test and DNA samples "within a day or two, at the maximum."
Mr. Condit, whose district includes Miss Levy's hometown of Modesto, Calif., on Friday told investigators he had had an affair with the 24-year-old intern after having denied a romantic relationship since she was reported missing in early May, according to a law enforcement source.
Billy Martin, the lawyer hired by Miss Levy's parents to investigate her disappearance, yesterday said he is "very pleased" police will conduct a lie-detector test on Mr. Condit and search his apartment, adding that the Levys have been "going through a living hell."
Chief Ramsey and Monty Wilkinson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said they could not comment about Miss Smith's interview. Mr. Wilkinson also said he could not comment about the Levy investigation, which is separate from the probe of Miss Smith's charges.
Marina Ein, a publicist retained by Mr. Condit and Mr. Lowell, said she could not comment on a federal investigation of Mr. Condit. "I have no information to that effect. I can't confirm it," she told The Times.
Mr. Condit last week issued a statement saying he has not "asked anyone to refrain from discussing this matter with authorities, nor have I suggested anyone mislead the authorities." He did not dispute Miss Smith's account of their 10-month relationship.
In addition, the D.C. law firm of Cotchett, Pitre and Simon issued a statement disputing Miss Smith's account, saying it e-mailed a "draft" statement to Jim Robinson, her attorney in Seattle, to clarify her relationship with the congressman following a tabloid magazine report about the matter.
Mr. Robinson was to review the draft statement and "edit, cut, suggest, etc." 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 have and have not had a romantic relationship with Congressman Condit."
When she is interviewed by police detectives, Miss Smith also is expected to give a statement about what she saw inside Mr. Condit's apartment when she was there in April, Mr. Robinson told The Times yesterday. Miss Levy was last seen in the District on April 30.
Mr. Robinson said Miss Smith was in the apartment before Miss Levy's disappearance and found several long hairs that looked like Miss Levy's and neckties wrapped around the metal frame of Mr. Condit's bed.
"I'm sure they want to talk to her about what she saw," he said.
Yesterday, a horde of reporters, photographers and camera operators staked out Mr. Condit's condominium in the 2600 block of Adams Mill Road NW, which the congressman quickly left, and got into a waiting Ford Escort to avoid questions.
"It's slightly overblown. But I find it kind of amusing," condo resident Kevin Lee, 29, said of the media attention.
Mr. Lee said many of the building's residents are upset because "reporters are coming in and roaming around."
Many passers-by watched the frenzy and debated among themselves what happened to Miss Levy. Police have ruled out suicide, saying she disappeared voluntarily or met with foul play.
Janine A. Zeitlin contributed to this report.

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