- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2001

House Majority Leader Dick Armey yesterday urged Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt to personally address Rep. Gary A. Condit's continued service on the Intelligence Committee.
Mr. Armey, Texas Republican, said committee members are privy to sensitive information, and a discussion between the two would be "prudent."
"Only Gary Condit knows if there is anything else out there" with which he can be blackmailed, Mr. Armey said. The Texas Republican was referring to the numerous accusations of extramarital relationships that have been made against Mr. Condit since the disappearance of Chandra Levy.
The Missouri Democrat was peppered with questions regarding Mr. Condit's future during Mr. Gephardt's first Capitol Hill press conference yesterday since Congress returned from its monthlong recess.
Mr. Gephardt avoided answering questions on what action, if any, would be taken against Mr. Condit, California Democrat. Mr. Gephardt also said it was never his intention to discipline Mr. Condit for not cooperating with police regarding the disappearance of Miss Levy.
"What I said was that when I came back, I would talk with colleagues, as we should under our process, about Gary and his situation with Intelligence. And I will undertake those conversations and that process," Mr. Gephardt said.
He also denied he was backtracking from critical statements he made about Mr. Condit's interview with ABC's Connie Chung.
Following that Aug. 23 interview, Mr. Gephardt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he planned to talk with Democratic colleagues about possible action against Mr. Condit, including the removal from his seat on the Intelligence Committee. He called Mr. Condit's comments during the interview "disturbing and wrong," and indicated Mr. Condit can no longer rely on support from congressional Democrats.
"As to his future, that rests with him and his political constituents," Mr. Gephardt said.
Mr. Gephardt said he stands by his earlier remarks but refused to verbally repeat his stance. "I stand fully behind everything I said. I said earlier that I said what I wanted to say, and that's it. I don't need to say it repeatedly. I said it," he said.
Mr. Gephardt said he has not scheduled any meetings with his Democratic colleagues to discuss Mr. Condit's situation, nor does he plan to personally meet with Mr. Condit.
One Republican leadership aide said Mr. Condit can look forward to a "cold shoulder" from colleagues on both sides of the aisle when he returns to work.
Roll Call reported yesterday that former Rep. Bob Dornan, California Republican, plans to meet with Mr. Condit this week to "tell him what a creep I think he is."
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Rep. Cal Dooley, California Democrat, has also been openly critical of Mr. Condit, and Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, has asked the ethics committee numerous times to take action.
But a spokesman for Mr. Condit said it will be business as usual when his boss returns to town.


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