Skip to main content /transcript



The Investigation Into the Disappearance of Chandra Levy

Aired July 12, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, police dogs are on the hunt, forensic evidence is in the lab. After more than 10 weeks, where is Chandra Levy?

And facing new allegations of infidelity plus a police request for a polygraph, why doesn't Congressman Gary Condit go public with his story? We're going to get the latest on the Levy investigation from D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, and after that famed forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, and former prosecutor Nancy Grace, now of Court TV. Then the political aspects of this mystery from David Gergen, editor at large, "U.S. News & World Report," and veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins. Plus some strong opinions from best-selling author and former federal prosecutor Barbara Olson; syndicated radio talk show host and former criminal attorney Laura Ingraham; Julian Epstein, friend of Gary Condit and Democratic counsel on Capitol Hill; and defense attorney Mark Geragos.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with Chief Charles Ramsey of the D.C. Metropolitan Police. We think Chief Ramsey very much for joining us.

Chief, what can you tell us? Any evidence found on what you took out of the apartment?

CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: Well, that's still in the process of being sent down to the FBI Crime Lab. You know, here in the District of Columbia we don't have a forensic lab. All of our evidence is sent to the FBI automatically anyway, and we've yet to get anything back from that.

KING: There have been reports -- not confirmed, maybe you can confirm -- that some blood was in plain sight in the bathroom. Was that true?

RAMSEY: You know, I heard that, but we can't confirm anything like that. Our technicians gather evidence, they send it down for an evaluation. We wait for an analysis before we can determine what it is that we have.

KING: Why wasn't the condo searched sooner, Chief?

RAMSEY: Well, one, we had no probable cause for a search warrant. It's not that we hadn't discussed a couple options, but we had nothing in terms of probable cause. You know, it's easy in retrospect for people to look back after about 11 weeks worth of information out and say how come in week one or week two you didn't do something, but we didn't have that information in week one or week two. And quite frankly, I don't know if we would have enough now to get a warrant signed.

So when the offer was made for us to go in and search the apartment, we took advantage of it.

KING: Are we still -- have DNA samples been taken at all for any possible future discovery?

RAMSEY: Well, that's certainly was one of the things that was offered. So we're very much interested in doing that. But I think that what's important here is that we're not running a one-dimensional investigation. We've interviewed about 100 people in this case, and we are very aggressively following up on leads, different possibilities, not just foul play, but the possibility of her, for example, leaving and just not wanting to be found. So we're really exploring all avenues.

KING: There are a lot of missing persons cases in Washington, aren't there?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, every police department gets more than its share of missing persons cases. For example, in 2000, we received probably close to 10,000 calls for missing persons, about 5,000 of which we generated reports. The vast majority, vast majority of those people are found. They return home or they're subsequently found.

Right now, just in the years 2000 and 2001, we have about 130 missing persons altogether in the District of Columbia.

KING: Is there any kind of pattern, Chief, when a young woman or a young man is missing for 11 weeks, they're in their early 20s? Is there a usual pattern? Is there usually foul play, usually runaway, or if we can't say there's anything that we could generalize?

RAMSEY: Yeah, you really can't generalize like that, and we've seen nothing. And don't think for a minute that we haven't taken a look at that sort of thing, because we have. I mean, obviously, you'd want to look at all possibilities. We've profiled a lot of the cases that we have outstanding that are missing. We don't see any pattern.

I realize, because I listen to the same talk shows, that people are saying, well, that's what the police always say. But the truth is it is what it is, and we just haven't found that. But it doesn't mean that we won't continue to look. We'll do everything humanly possible to try to find her.

KING: Where do we stand on the polygraph negotiations?

RAMSEY: Well, we've had some discussions, but we haven't gotten anywhere yet in terms of firming up a date, a time, or whether or not it's even going to take place. Again, that was an offer that was made, at least to discuss it. We're in the process of doing that. You know, it is a -- an investigative tool, nothing more than that. If we have an opportunity, to use that, we will. If we don't, then we'll just move on and continue with the investigation.

Again, he is not the only person that we're talking to. There are other people that we have talked to and there are other people that we've asked whether or not they'd be willing to take a polygraph.

KING: Do you plan any more talks with him aside from the polygraph?

RAMSEY: Well, if it becomes necessary. Again, you know, Mr. Condit, because of his position, is obviously getting the majority of the attention in this case, but we have an awful lot of work to do. We're recanvassing areas. We're taking a look now at people on probation, parole, and tracking them down, trying to reach out for cabdrivers, anybody who may have any information at all. We're doing searches. And we're even taking a look at composite sketches of Chandra Levy in the event that she is alive, she is missing, but of her own free will, to see what she would look like if she tried to change her appearance at all.

KING: Commander Mark Beach said today this case now has the highest priority. Why don't all missing cases have highest priority?

RAMSEY: Well, they do, and we call them "critical missings." And we have some missings where we know that the individual left on their own accord. We have sometimes, you have parental abductions, for example, where we know there's no foul play involved, but depending on the age of the individual child, we consider it a critical missing person.

She's a critical missing because of the unusual nature of her disappearance, and that's why we classify it that way.

KING: Are you interested, Chief, in other aspects of Condit's life: the statements by the flight attendant, the reports today by the Pentacondal (sic), Pentacondal (sic) minister, whose daughter then denies it in a note, that there were other affairs? Is that germane?

RAMSEY: Only if it can help lead us to Chandra Levy, otherwise we really don't have an interest in a lot of the things that are being discussed. Our focus is on one thing and one thing only, and that's trying to find this missing person. And we have other missing persons, we have other cases that we're investigating. We've put forth an awful lot of effort in all these cases. Unfortunately, because of the high level of coverage that this is generating, it gives the appearance that the only case that we're working in the metropolitan police department is the Chandra Levy case.

KING: When, Chief, does it become suspicion of a crime?

RAMSEY: When we have evidence that can lead us in that direction. We don't have...

KING: That might be what? A torn piece of dress or something? What would be an example? RAMSEY: Well, maybe forensic evidence that develops. It could be a credible witness that actually saw something. It could be a variety of things. But right now, we have to leave all cards on the table, because quite frankly we don't know, and as a police agency, we don't have the luxury of speculation. We have to deal with facts, and right now, the only thing we know we have is a missing person.

KING: Are you getting lots of calls from people either saying, I know what happened to her, I think I saw her, those kinds of things?

RAMSEY: Well, we've gotten an awful lot of calls on the hotline. We get e-mails. We get all kinds of information. And obviously, as of now, they haven't really panned out. But we're even trying to generate our own information, obviously. Our detectives working very, very hard. We have a very good department, we have very dedicated detectives, and they're working as hard as they can to bring this to a successful conclusion.

KING: These are homicide detectives as well?

RAMSEY: Well, we call them violent crimes here in the District of Columbia. They handle the majority of these kinds of cases that we get with missing persons and so forth. So they're the ones that originally had it before it was a district assignment before it came downtown.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with Chief Charles Ramsey, and then lots of other guests in this discussion that has become the No. 1 story. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. As we see, Congressman Condit's now famous apartment in Washington, D.C. Is this a help or a hindrance, chief, to have the apartment shown to have all the media doing it? Can it help the police, or hurt them, or neither?

RAMSEY: Well, it does a little bit of both, quite frankly. It is a help to have it out there, in terms of her picture. I wish we could get the same kind of coverage for all our missing persons and some of our high-profile cases that we have that receive virtually no attention at all.

The downside is that it generates an awful lot of speculation, most of which is not based on any fact at all. It's just people just giving opinions, and in many cases, it's just terribly, terribly misleading.

KING: Would you say it's safe to say the only facts we have is a missing girl who had a relationship once with a congressman? That is all we know as a fact.

RAMSEY: Well, that's all we know, and don't take that to mean that I'm saying that anything about nature of relationship, because I'm not. Again, you know, I have an obligation as a police officer and as an officer of the court that I have to live up to as well, so there is a lot of information that we are not free to divulge, and we have to be very, very cautious about that.

So we are trying to be as open as we can and give as much information as we can, but at the same time maintain the integrity of the investigation.

KING: So you have never confirmed that there was a physical relationship?

RAMSEY: No. Again, there is an awful lot of speculation going on out there.

KING: There was a leak as to that, wasn't there?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, there are leaks everywhere. I mean, unfortunately, the only time people seem to think is a blue wall of silence is when that it is in their convenience, but the reality is, we have leaks like everyone has leaks, and some of the information is accurate, some of the information is terribly inaccurate, because some of the people doing the leaking are not involved in the case and have no information.

KING: What was the purpose of the questioning of the wife?

RAMSEY: Well, again, anyone who could present any information at all that might be relevant to this case, we are going to talk to. Whether it is a spouse, whether it's a friend, whether it's a neighbor. I would not attach any significance to that other than the fact she is one of many people that we needed to speak with just to make sure that we had everything covered in this investigation.

The majority of the work that we have done in this case is really -- has nothing do with Congressman Condit.

KING: The majority of the work?

RAMSEY: Yeah, the majority of it. I mean, again, we have interviewed more than 100 people, we are following up on a variety of leads -- not all of which have anything to do with the congressman -- we are conducting searches to see whether or not we can find any remains if she did meet with foul play, we are following the possibility that she is missing on her own accord.

We are doing an awful lot of work. Just because the focus of the media is one-dimensional doesn't mean our investigation is one- dimensional. We are doing an awful lot of things.

KING: Do you keep the Levys posted about things?

RAMSEY: Yes, we do. We keep them posted, sometimes personally sometimes through Billy Martin, who again, has been very helpful himself during this entire process. I have spoken with the Levys personally on a few occasions. We do what we can to keep them posted, but again they are frustrated.

I don't blame them. If my child was missing this length of time, I wouldn't think the police or anybody else was doing enough to find them.

KING: And finally, chief, those who say the police gave the congressman some slack in this, any truth?

RAMSEY: No. It's no truth in that. I mean if -- if we thought a crime had been committed, we would move forward like we would in any other case. But people all have rights. It doesn't matter if it is a United States congressman, or an individual who is homeless in our city.

We have to afford them the same kind of protection, the -- we treat them with dignity -- and dignity and respect, so those kinds of things are said, but the reality is it's just not true.

KING: So at this point, July 12, there is no assumption of whether missing, suicide, or harmed?

RAMSEY: Oh, we just don't know. I mean, that is just the plain truth, and you have to remember, you folks in the media are working just as hard as we are to trying to find her, you haven't found anything either. So it is a mystery, it is something that we are really concerned about.

But right now, the only thing we know we have is a missing person. And we will continue to investigate it as such, even though I don't know if there is anything else we could do under any circumstances. We are just doing as thorough investigation as humanly possible.

KING: Thanks, chief, as always good seeing you.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

KING: Chief Charles Ramsey of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan police.

When we come back, one of the most renowned forensic pathologists in America, Dr. Cyril Wecht, and Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor who hosts "Trial Heat" on Court TV will be with us. Then, we'll get the political aspects of this from David Gergen and Ed Rollins, and then our panel returns. Don't go away.


KING: Now joining us from Pittsburgh, the famed Dr. Cyril Wecht, the renowned pathologist, coroner of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania area, and in New York, Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor and host of "Trial Heat" on Court TV.

What, Dr. Wecht, can forensic be doing at this point in this matter?

DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, Larry, I'm sure that they are looking for anything that can possibly be subjected to DNA testing. So that would be hair, any kinds of secretions, any evidence of blood, or so on. The other things that will be looked for of forensic nature that are not DNA would be things such as fibers, and other things that are picked up. According to Lockard's principle, when there is confrontation between two people, supposedly there is also some transference of one kind of material or another.

KING: Dr. Wecht, is the chief right, should nothing be assumed at this point?

WECHT: Yes, I would say so. And, Larry, from the forensic science standpoint, I would point out that if indeed there was any kind of a relationship -- and I'm not speaking of anything necessarily intimate -- and Ms. Levy had been in the congressman's apartment, then there is an immediately acceptable and understandable explanation for such things as hair, and possibly even for blood. One can be chopping up onions or tomatoes to make an omelet.

So -- you know, you've got to be very careful here. I think that if you find blood in a place that is inexplicable -- let's say, it is on the top of a cupboard door, or in the basement, or so on, now that's a different story. But if you find it in the kitchen or in the bathroom, or in the bedroom, you know, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

KING: Nancy Grace, veteran prosecutor, host of "Trial Heat," you deal with trials and investigations all the time, what do you make of this one?

NANCY GRACE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I'm very disturbed, Larry, and as a crime victim myself I am very hurt with the way this investigation has been handled -- no disrespect to Chief Ramsey.

But you get a very wealthy and powerful politician, a married man, having a sex affair allegedly with an intern, wife comes in town, he threatens to break it off if she tells, and suddenly the girl goes missing.

Then you add in evading and possibly lying to police, they could easily have had more grounds for a search warrant or even have the Grand Jury bring him and others in for testifying. Condit took from the Levy family something they cannot replace, two months lead time, and during that two months, possibly, a life was claimed. And I hold him responsible for that.

KING: Are you saying he is a suspect in what we don't even know is a crime?

GRACE: No. Nobody is going to say Condit is a suspect. The question to you, Larry King, have they taken your DNA? No. Why? You are not a suspect. But they are searching his apartment and they are planning to take his DNA. And I doubt pretty seriously an attorney as smart as Abbe Lowell will allow his client to be strapped up for a lie detector test.

KING: So your blame here lays at the police? GRACE: My blame, at this point, and fingerpointing at this point is useless, it is a delay. But, I think Condit caused a stall for at least two months in this investigation, they lost traction, the trail is cold. Did you see her mother on the front porch today begging for information? Two months, Larry, that is what this stall technique cost police.

KING: Dr. Wecht, what do you make of that?

WECHT: Well, I -- have to come down, more, I think, from the standpoint of the presentation made by the chief, not that I disagree with the logic of Nancy's comments, but from a forensic scientific standpoint, one has to approach this in an objective fashion, unless and until there is some physical evidence, be it DNA, be it basic blood typing, be it hair analysis, or things of that nature...

GRACE: Cyril Wecht, that girl would have called her mother and let her know she was dead or alive, you know it, I know it!

WECHT: Well, I know what I think, most likely is the case here. But, again, from a scientific standpoint, one has to be very, very careful, even if, for example, with -- let's say they use luminol, which can pick up one drop of blood in one million drops of blood.

GRACE: That is right.

WECHT: Or one part -- let's say -- but once again, where is it found?

KING: Where did the blood come from?

GRACE: That is right, this could be a perfect explanation, Cyril, and I'm with you 200 percent. I'm not saying the man's guilty. I'm saying he is guilty of stalling this investigation. And that could have cost his girl her life.

KING: And finally Nancy, we have a little time limitation here, do you think harm came to her?

GRACE: You know what? My heart says no. Because I want her to be alive. But my head, after prosecuting I don't know how many cases, says too much time has gone by with no word.

KING: Thank you, we will be calling on both of you again.

We will come back with David Gergen and Ed Rollins, get a political thought on this, and then our panel, Barbara Olson, Laura Ingraham, Julian Epstein, and Mark Geragos go at it. Don't go away.


KING: We now welcome two of the foremost political experts in this country, David Gergen, editor at large, "U.S. News & World Report", professor of public service at the Kennedy School at Harvard. He counseled Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

And the veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins in New York, and he served in the administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.

Little news item here David to start with, Bob Barr, Republican of Georgia, is the first Congressman to call on Condit to resign. He says that Condit's actions have obstructed an ongoing police investigation, he adds, "I believe he should resign rather than bring further discredit on the House of Representatives."

David, is this the first of many or is Barr standing alone?

DAVID GERGEN, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": First of many. I think we don't know yet tonight whether Congressman Condit is guilty of criminal misconduct. We do know he is guilty of political misconduct as a citizen, especially as a member of the United States Congress.

He had a duty to come forward and tell the police everything he knew, the moment word passed that this girl disappeared, he withheld information from the police, he withheld information from the family, he had his staff lie to the country, he has now under investigation by federal authorities for possible obstruction of justice, Gary Condit is unfit for public office.

KING: Ed Rollins, Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to Clinton and an avowed Democrat, called on Democrats to express serious concern about Condit's conduct, and to press him for a full public accounting. Should it go further than that?

ED ROLLINS, GOP STRATEGIST: I think he has to tell this story, I think there is no question this is a guy who has no political base anymore. Whether he resigns or not, his political career for all practical purposes is over. The minimum, he's going to have a serious challenge in a district that wasn't really contested district, and equally as important, he isn't what he appeared to be.

He basically for many years has run as a solid family man who represented the values of Modesto's Stanislaus County, and today, this activity that's come to the forefront, he's not that man, and he has led this hidden life, you know, he may be the most unlikely man that ever lived, but he certainly was playing Russian roulette with five shells in the chamber by the behavior that's occurred.

KING: Why do you think, David, politicians do this? He called for Clinton to speak out.

GERGEN: Larry, I think it's very important to understand, because the country is so "revulsed" by a lot of what they see in Washington, most people who live in Washington, D.C., are honorable, yes, they make mistakes, I have made a lot of mistakes, but when the chips are down, they try to do the right thing, they try to do the decent thing.

Only a handful like Gary Condit, you know, treat us with contempt and bring contempt on themselves, because, you know, he -- power goes to the head of some people, they think they can defy the law, I think there was a lot of self-defense here, clearly, he put his own selfish interests above public interests, not on the sex, I don't think that -- this is a garden variety in terms of Washington sexual escapade.

I think it is what happened after she disappeared. That is, it is really sort of troubling here because most people in Washington would not act this way, he is almost in a class by himself.

KING: Ed Rollins, David said it probably should come to that. Should he resign?

ROLLINS: Well, I think whether he resigns or not, as I said, his career is finished and he will be hounded if he stays in office.

KING: Even if she is found alive or dead -- he is not connected?

ROLLINS: Even if she is found -- no matter what will occur, something has happened to this girl. She wouldn't just disappear. And I think the reality is, we all hope for the best, but the reality is this guy lives in a very political world, he went to his fellow members of Congress, his fellow Democrats, and said I did not have an affair with this woman, he knew he had.

They went out in turn and told their constituencies, defending him, he sent his own staff out day after day to defend him and say there was nothing to this thing, clearly there was. He lied to his reporters back home, so I think the reality is he is finished whether he believes it or not.

Equally as important, I think he is just -- as I say, he may be very unlucky, in the sense the spotlight went on him, but it has gone on him, and his behavior -- not a new behavior, it is an old behavior. I have heard stories about Gary when he was an assemblyman in Sacramento many years ago, and I think the reality is, this is a guy who lived a double life, the life today, he needs to fully disclose what he knows about this young girl, so we can try to bring a close to this thing as quickly as possible.

KING: Thank you both very much. We expect to have you both on again soon and hopefully for a longer time. David Gergen, Ed Rollins, we appreciate it very much, always great seeing you both.

ROLLINS: Good to see you.

KING: When we come back, Barbara Olson, Laura Ingraham, Julian Epstein, Mark Geragos, they're becoming our Four Musketeers on this. They are next, don't go away.


KING: We're back. We assembled our panel to discuss this. They are: in Washington, Barbara Olson, former federal prosecutor and best- selling author of "Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton." Here in Los Angeles, Laura Ingraham, the former criminal defense attorney, once clerked for Judge Clarence Thomas, and hosts her own syndicated radio talk show on Westwood One.

Julian Epstein, professional acquaintance of Gary Condit, staff director for the Government Reform Committee when Condit was on it and is chief minority counsel for House Judiciary, and Mark Geragos, defense attorney, who's clients have included Roger Clinton and Susan McDougal.

We will start with Barbara Olson. Any comments on what anybody had to say so far, the police chief, or Mr. Gergen or the pathologist?

BARBARA OLSON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think the most interesting thing that has happened today, and the police chief just lightly talked about it, is Anna Marie Smith has been here for two days and they are talking with her and the FBI is interviewing her. And so one has to ask why are they talking to her?

And so I'm assuming she has been before the grand jury that we know exists now in the District of Columbia, and that they are outlining and asking her questions to see if indeed Mr. Condit asked her to lie about an affidavit, told her the case wouldn't go to trial, and was trying to get her to lie to prosecutors, to lie to the investigators.

KING: And what, Mark Geragos, would that mean vis-a-vis Chandra Levy?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's meaningless for Chandra Levy, and from what I have heard, she wasn't in front of a grand jury today so that I think is just speculation. I think she was interviewed. She was interviewed yesterday for a number of hours by the U.S. attorney again today, but as far as Chandra Levy, no, it far afield.

I think the interesting thing you have seen today on your show is that Chief Ramsey has said again and again, that the media focus here has become obsessed on Gary Condit, and that has very little to do with his investigation into the missing girl.

KING: Miss Ingraham.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FORMER CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We talked about this the other night, Larry, that this focus on trashing media has really gotten Condit nowhere. It's gotten the media angrier, fed the scandal beast, if you will.

And now we have Chief Ramsey of the D.C. police, and remember the D.C. police has been under enormous scrutiny over the past several years, under enormous heat for the way it handled all missing persons investigations, not just this one. So here we go, back again, with the same people saying oh, the media, too scandal obsessed.

KING: He also praised them.

INGRAHAM: He said it helps to some extent, but the message we get time and again is that the media should be focusing on other aspects of this investigation and other aspects of criminal activity. The thing is we know that Gary Condit was not as forthcoming as he should have been at the very beginning of this investigation. So far we don't know anyone else who has not been forthcoming. GERAGOS: That is what the chief said, he said we don't necessarily know that. He just made the statement.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are only one who doesn't know that, Mark.

GERAGOS: Well, I'm just telling you, I don't think that, I don't think that the media has gotten the exact information.

KING: The Chief did not even say they had a sexual relationship.


KING: Mr. Epstein, get in on this.

JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC COUNSEL: Let me chime in if I can. First of all, let me agree with Laura. I think the notion of a attacking the media at this point is insane, and is wrong. I think the media to some extent has played a constructive role.

Let me kind of agree and disagree with Barbara. The Ann Marie Smith thing, I think, until we know more is a sideshow. If there was a request to lie in an affidavit that is wrong, but I think until we know more information it really is a side show. The important point I think about where we are today, Larry, is this: We are moving into a new phase of this investigation.

There has been this week, a search of the apartment. It doesn't seem to have turned up very much information, we are still speculating but I think if there was important information it would be out now. There will be a lie detector test. My guess, and I think probably all four of us will agree on the panel tonight, that if Abbe Lowell is going to offer a lie detector test, one has already been done and it is exculpatory because otherwise wouldn't be offered.

There's going to be an offer of DNA test, so, I think what's happening now is we are moving into phase two of this, and if exculpatory information begins to come out, then I think the media which has played a reasonably constructive role here, will begin to stand back a little bit, and get a broader perspective.

There is new theories out there today, the police talking about what Chandra might look like if she were disguised. They are searching other houses. I have heard from different reporters about four different theories about -- that newspaper reporters are actively working on. I think that Mr. Condit has created this jamboree that we are in, that is looking now at his private life because of the denial, because of his improper conduct.

But we are moving to a phase where we are going to start looking at other avenues. Not all roads lead to Gary Condit here.


KING: First Barbara and then Laura. Go ahead, Barbara.

OLSON: I want to jump in because I think it is very interesting that people say that Anna Marie Smith is a sideshow. The potential perjury obstruction of justice and suborning a witness is a sideshow? If we believe, and if Anna Marie Smith goes before a jury...

GERAGOS: Wow, this like deja vu all over again. Where have a heard this before, Barbara?


OLSON: I just want to say that lying under oath is a crime. And the prosecutors will all say it is a crime. And we now have a criminal investigation. With President Clinton, we had the president of the United States. We have an active criminal investigation and if Anna Marie Smith was telling the truth...

GERAGOS: There was no lying under oath. You just heard from the chief. If he had lied to the Washington, D.C. police about having an affair that is a crime.


KING: OK, I'll let Julian and Laura comment and we've got to take a brake...

EPSTEIN: You can separate these issues...

KING: Hold it one second, Julian, soon as we take a break we come back to you. This is LARRY KING LIVE -- I love this -- don's go away.


KING: We're back. We by the way may, it may shock you to learn this, have a standing invitation out to Congressman Condit. Should he wish to appear, he would be given the right to appear on this program.

All right, Julian, you were going to say?

EPSTEIN: I was going to agree with Barbara if Mr. Condit asked Anne Marie Smith to file a false affidavit, then that's right, that is a criminal offense, that is something that's serious, but I don't think that we know that.

The two things that mitigate against that, while there is more that we don't know than we know, the two things that mitigate against it are that he and his lawyers were working through her lawyer, which is not something you do when you suborn perjury, and there was an invitation on that affidavit that was discussed before on this program to change the affidavit.

Now, I agree with Barbara's central point about the seriousness of this. This is where I disagree with Barbara: where I disagree is that nobody has yet made a credible link between that episode and where Chandra Levy is, and I think the point that I'm making is: let's keep eyes on the prize here. The primary goal is to find out her whereabouts.

KING: Laura, isn't that the essence? The main thing here is she is missing.


KING: Him having an affair with a stewardess has nothing do with her being missing, correct? Nothing.

INGRAHAM: Right. It has nothing to do with it except that it has a lot to do with his own credibility on various issues. We have been talking about this for nights now.

KING: Involving romance.

INGRAHAM: His credibility in talking to investigators, is he telling the truth? Will he come forward with information in a timely manner that would have actually helped investigators at the beginning? Maybe Washington police would have been looking for a body in the first two weeks in all these empty warehouses if Congressman Condit had been forthcoming.

So, he could he hampering a federal criminal investigation. At some point down the line, he could be doing that if he doesn't come forward. That is a serious matter.

GERAGOS: I'm trying not to talk over her right now...

INGRAHAM: Thank you very much.

GERAGOS: I actually exercise great reserve, the -- no. The problem is and the illogic of this whole argument is if they've had 11 weeks to investigate and they couldn't get at Gary Condit, by definition they have expended their resources investigating 99 other people and other angles, and if Gary Condit is their man, why in the world would he have invited them into his apartment, allowed them to search...

OLSON: That's three months later almost, that is why.

GERAGOS: Well, what is three months later going to do? The DNA is there.


GERAGOS: Are you kidding me, Barbara? Barbara, there aren't five criminal defense -- there aren't five criminal defense lawyers...


KING: One at a time.

GERAGOS: Barbara, there aren't five criminal defense lawyers in America who if their client is perceived as a suspect are going to invite the police in, and then tell them search my place on a consensus when there is no crime, and ask, "do you want to have a polygraph?" You wouldn't do it, and I wouldn't do it.


GERAGOS: ... your husband during his confirmation hearings also chose not to speak and invoked the privilege. Everybody has a right to do...

OLSON: What are you talking about? You are making things up...


GERAGOS: ... nobody condemned your husband when he did that, and he is now solicitor general.

OLSON: That's not true, Mark.

GERAGOS: So, at the same time, why does Gary Condit have any less rights than anybody else?

OLSON: Wait a minute, wait a minute.

GERAGOS: Just because he's a congressman?


INGRAHAM: Now, let me just make this point: the one thing we know that Anne Marie Smith's lawyer yesterday told another network that in the course of the questioning by the FBI to his client, they continued to paint this picture of a man who was, you know, not telling the truth, who was perhaps making her afraid.


INGRAHAM: Right. Exactly.


INGRAHAM: ... let me finish before you filibuster. And at the end of that statement that the police, you know, the police led her to, she was apparently feeling now newly threatened by Congressman Condit. Now, what are the investigators trying to do? What kind of a picture are they trying to paint of Congressman Condit's attitude toward these various women? What would he do, what lengths would he go to, to shut them up? That is what they are trying to get at.

EPSTEIN: Laura, you yourself said on the program last week when we spoke about this that you didn't believe that he had any connection to her disappearance. What we know right now is Mr. Condit got caught in a very bad situation, having an extramarital affair or two and he did things he shouldn't have done.

INGRAHAM: Or three, or three, or four, or five, or six.

EPSTEIN: And in which are not excusable -- which is not an excusable situation in a situation like this.


EPSTEIN: But look, we are getting into -- we are getting into more evidentiary steps that are being taken right now, Laura. You yourself I think also said that you thought he should take a lie detector test. I don't believe they are worth their weight in salt.



EPSTEIN: ... well, I agree with that as well. We are agreeing on too many things tonight then.


EPSTEIN: ... lie detector test, he is doing a DNA sample, there are a lot of things that are now coming forward...

KING: Somebody's been waiting to get in, I want to give him a chance. Anchorage, Alaska, hello.

CALLER: Great. I had a question about -- since Condit has already given his consent once, will he have to give it again if the police want to do further searches?

GERAGOS: No, he doesn't have to give his consent again. He has already given -- depending on the waiver, he has already done it, and that is it, they can come back in. He could go back and try to revoke it, but at this point he has got a -- there is a consensual waiver.

KING: We'll be right back. We will ask their opinions on what he should do and what happens next. Don't go away.


KING: Before we get our panel's expert thoughts on where they go from here, Aventura, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I have a question for Ms. Ingraham. I would like to know...

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: If -- what type of pertinent questions will they ask Mr. Condit on the lie detector test?

INGRAHAM: I think they will ask -- they will ask a whole host of questions, and depending on how wide a berth they are give by Condit's attorney, which...

KING: The essential question -- it's only yes or no, right?


KING: You can only answer yes or no on that, right?


GERAGOS: You can be read a statement, they can give you a statement and say and read it to you and say, "do you agree with that statement?" And that is normally how they do it.

KING: You don't have to give elaborate answers.

GERAGOS: You don't have to give them a lot of elaborate answers, because what you want is you're measuring the reactions, the biological reactions.

INGRAHAM: But I think the questions are going to be, when is the last time you saw her? What was her state of mind? Was her state of mind upset, was it calm? Did you ever threaten her? Did you ever threaten her if she spoke about your relationship, or if she became pregnant even? I mean, all sorts of questions. I mean, I think they are going to try to ask as many questions as possible that go to his credibility.

KING: Port Jefferson, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi, good evening. I have two questions, actually. My first is: does anyone know where the congressman's wife and family is through all this?

OLSON: Well, his wife was here, as Lee says, as soon as the search of the apartment, his wife was there with him at the apartment, as reported...


KING: And they questioned her, too.

OLSON: Yeah.

KING: And the police questioned her. Second question, ma'am.


CALLER: Hello.

KING: Yeah, I think she's back in California. Second question.

CALLER: Oh, OK, yeah. And how come the media isn't camping on their front lawn like they do with everybody else that's involved in situations like this?

KING: On whose front lawn?

CALLER: On the family's, the family of the congressman. You don't ever see his family.

KING: Oh, the wife and children. Are they, are we?

GERAGOS: Well, the media, is my understanding, has been camped out at his congressional office there. They are virtually nonstop there.

KING: In Modesto.

GERAGOS: In Modesto. And they are just not at the home, as far as I have ever seen. They are at his home in Washington, D.C.

EPSTEIN: Probably because the media has a made decision -- which I think is responsible -- that there is not much to be learned from Mr. Condit's wife back in Modesto.

KING: What does he do now, Barbara?

OLSON: Gary Condit?

KING: Yeah.

OLSON: Well, politically, he needs to do something to change the numbers that are happening. Even his own constituents who voted for him are starting to doubt him. So politically, if he didn't do it, he needs to make a statement. If he did do it, he better take the Fifth, because the evidence is mounting.

KING: Mark?

GERAGOS: Oh, Barbara, come on! As a former federal prosecutor, would you please give people a little bit more than telling them, "if you did do it, take the Fifth." The Fifth is there and has been there for 200 years for a very good reason. I mean...

OLSON: I didn't say there was anything wrong with him taking it, Mark. Just don't get so nervous.

GERAGOS: Your idea is -- the insinuation is, is that if you're innocent, you talk, and if you're guilty you hide behind the 5th. Give me break! The 5th is there, people use it and invoke it all the time who are perfectly innocent, because they don't want to be dragged into something.

OLSON: The thing...

GERAGOS: Now, in this case, you're right.

OLSON: If you're a politician, with what's happened, you do not take the 5th.

GERAGOS: I'll agree with you -- well, if you're a politician who's only concerned about your political livelihood, yes. If you're concerned about...

OLSON: Well, that's all he's been concerned about so far, so...

EPSTEIN: Can we talk about what he ought to do?

KING: Get in here, Julian. Laura, then you.

INGRAHAM: The bottom line is if you want to use Bill Clinton as a model, you basically act patient, hope that they can't prove anything and wait it out. Then the tornado, the media storm -- eventually the beast will have nothing to feed itself any longer. It'll die out.

KING: Monica wasn't missing.

INGRAHAM: No, but there were criminal activities and criminal allegations involved.

KING: Julian, what does he do?

EPSTEIN: Your question was: What does he do at this point? What I think he has to do is, first, he needs to make everything available, the lie detector test, the searching of the apartment, everything else he can do to respond to the police.

Second, what I think he has to do, Billy Martin made the invitation on Monday night on this program. I think he has to give an accounting to the family, They've asked that through their attorney. I think he needs to do that.

The third thing I think he needs to do, is he does need to kind of hold out the lantern and express, kind of more the human emotion that he is distraught. Whatever has happened, he is distraught by the fact that she is gone, because we haven't heard that expression. I think you've got to hear that human expression from him.

The fourth thing, I think he really needs to do, and I think some of us need to do, is you know, I happen to live in this community. Many of the people that live in that community do believe that there is a larger problem of potentially a serial murder or a serial abductor going on, and I think that there does need to be an expansion of the discussion into that. Let me tell you, the people that live in that community feel that very strongly.

GERAGOS: And, Julian, it's not just the people who live in that community. It's privately what the police are saying. That's part of the reason that they keep trying to dissuade people from this obsession with Condit, because privately, what the police believe is that there is a real problem there in that community, and hopefully it isn't true -- maybe a serial killer.

EPSTEIN: I agree with Barbara and Laura, that it is a mistake to attack the press and it is a mistake to say don't question focus, examine everything under every rock relating to Gary Condit. I agree with them on that. I'm trying to be fair there. I think Laura and Barbara also have to be fair on the other side, and also have to say there's a very, very distinct possibility that there are other things going on here, that there may be a random or a serial abduction, serial murder situation going on. And we need to spend a fair amount of attention focusing on that, as well as Mr. Condit.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll hear some more comments from each of our guests. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back with Barbara Olson, Laura Ingraham, Julian Epstein and Mark Geragos.

Well, Mark, if we're at kind of a stalemate, the story keeps going on, what if the story is now that the tabloids are going to break about a multitude of other women?

GERAGOS: They are. Unfortunately, that's what's coming. It's going to come tomorrow, and we're going to go down that path. And that's unfortunate, because I think the -- if the real goal here is to find Chandra and see what happened to her, that is just going to further distract it.

KING: Is there a chance, Barbara, as Julian seemed to say, that when you focus so much on Condit, there might be a serial killer tonight getting away with it and getting another person killed?

OLSON: Well, early on there was the claim, the gentleman who does "America's Most Wanted" said he felt as though there were some killings that were very similar that had happened to two other women. The police said they're looking into that, that they did not believe, that was the word we got.

Of course, that's important to look at. But, you know, the women -- every one of them that's come forward or that we've heard about have all been told by Mr. Condit: Do not talk about the relationship. These are facts that lend something to Chandra's state of mind. They have to figure out her state of mind. It is very important.

GERAGOS: Barbara, the woman who today was the daughter of the minister here in California, didn't she leave a note on the door that said, "I don't know him. I don't know what anybody's talking about. Leave us alone"?

OLSON: Well, her father has talked, and four...

GERAGOS: Her father is apparently the landscaper for the Levys, is that the story?

OLSON: Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with landscaping. do you have a problem with landscapers, Mark?

GERAGOS: My brother is a landscape architect so, no, he'd be very insulted by that.

OLSON: I don't know what that means. I'm just saying that Ann Marie Smith was told not to talk about the relationship.

KING: We've only got a minute left. What does one have to do with the other? Back to that again. He lies about affairs.

INGRAHAM: Right. He lies about affairs, a lot of people do that. However, Larry, what we have here is a full-fledged category 5 media storm about this. This not going to stop. Not on your show, not on any of the other networks. It's not going to stop until there is such little information coming out, from the other women, from the police, until there is nothing else that can come forward to feed the beast.

KING: The snowball has started down the hill.

INGRAHAM: Gary Condit just has to frankly, not say anything and hope it goes away.

GERAGOS: Or until somebody finds out what happened to Chandra.

INGRAHAM: Exactly. Until there's a body.

KING: So, Julian Epstein, the longer it goes, the longer it goes.

EPSTEIN: No, I don't think so. I think what happens is, yes, right now, it's blood sport. It's open season. It's a jamboree, without a doubt. I think there will be, as Mark and Barbara and Laura were saying, there will be more stories that are going to come out tomorrow. We've all heard about them.

But again, I think that as you begin to get these things, which may either be incriminatory or exculpatory -- the DNA test, the lie detector, these types of things -- I do think by next week we are going to be in a new phase of this thing, and I think that there will be a lot of new theories out there as to what could have happened to her and they're going to start taking root. And I think we will be responsibly get a much broader focus on this.

KING: Thank you. We're out of time. Quickly, we thank Barbara Olson, Laura Ingraham, Julian Epstein and Mark Geragos.

Stay tuned for "CNN TONIGHT." See you tomorrow night. I'm Larry King. For our panel, all the other guests, good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

Back to the top