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Condit Controversy Continues

Aired August 28, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, did Chad Condit's defense of his dad do the congressman any good? Will Anne Marie Smith score a legal hit with her grand jury pitch? And can Gary Condit salvage anything from the Chandra Levy controversy?

Squaring off in Washington, former federal prosecutor and best- selling author Barbara Olson. In New York, former prosecutor, now Court TV anchor Nancy Grace. In Los Angeles, defense attorney Mark Geragos. And back in D.C., former chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, Julian Epstein. All next on LARRY KING LIVE!

First, we start with breaking news. Both Condits, Chad Condit and his sister Cadee -- Chad was on the show last night, Cadee was in the studio -- have resigned today.

Here's the letter they sent to Governor Davis: "Dear Governor, the Condits are a very proud and loyal family, not only in the good times but also during the darkest hours. You may remember our father's strong public support endorsement and organizational efforts for you during the bleakest moments of your 1998 primary campaign. It is that kind of loyalty to friends that has been hallmark of his career and is a standard we strive to live up to.

Continued employment with the governor's office after your public statement regarding our father would undercut that standard. Your statement did not nor will not help find Chandra Levy, and contrary to your statement, Congressman Condit was fully forthcoming to law enforcement. Friendship should not be based on poll numbers, therefore we respectfully submit our resignation, effective immediately."

The governor has now issued a statement from Sacramento. Governor Gray Davis today issued the following statement on the resignations of Chad and Cadee Condit from the office of the governor -- quote -- "These are two extraordinary young adults who did an outstanding job for the office of the governor." Governor Davis said, "I regret their decision to leave, but I am convinced that they will be successful in whatever they choose to do. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors."

Let's turn back to yesterday. Here is what Governor Gray Davis said yesterday during the day.


GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I have known Gary and worked with him for many, many years, and so what I'm about to say doesn't bring me any joy whatsoever. I didn't see the interview, so my information comes from news accounts and the transcripts of the interview. But I am disheartened that Congressman Condit did not speak out more quickly, or more fully.


KING: And last night, when Chad Condit, the congressman's older child, a son, appeared on this program, I asked Chad about the governor's statement.


CHAD CONDIT, GARY CONDIT'S SON: He says he got his information from the news media. And so anybody that's going to rely on the news media on this story to give them information, rely strictly on that, probably is going to get it wrong. The fact of the matter is, Gary Condit has been forthcoming with law enforcement folks from the very beginning. And there is no honor in kicking somebody when they are down. I -- I just -- I just disagree with the governor's comments, and they kind of missed the mark.

KING: But you don't hold the governor in less regard?

C. CONDIT: I probably do.

KING: But you are still working for him?

C. CONDIT: Right, this second.

KING: As of this minute.

C. CONDIT: Yeah.


KING: And he and his sister resigned today.

Let's go right around with the panel. Barbara, what do you make of all this? His appearance last night and the resignation now?

BARBARA OLSON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, his appearance last night, you couldn't help but understand how a son wants to help his father, how a son wants to put his father in the best light.

But one statement that Chad made caught me, because this has been made by Condit, Marina Ein and Abbe Lowell, is Chad Condit, in answer to one of your first questions was, "he told the law enforcement all they needed to know." You know, we talked about when Marina Ein made that statement early on for Gary Condit, "he had given them all the information they needed to know." It seems like they don't realize that you have to answer every question from the police, beyond what you think they need to know. And that is really where the problem is. Chad just reinforced that he couldn't answer the questions completely and truthfully, he gave the same answers as his dad, and unfortunately I think he just magnified where his father had made mistakes, and how they are not being allowed to answer the question truthfully and fully about the relationship.

KING: Mark, what do you make of the resignation, standing up for dad?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it's a pretty impressive thing for both of them. I mean, these are two people who have got, by all accounts, extraordinary futures and careers, and they've got a father who is under siege. Chad -- I thought his interview yesterday -- I mean, Barbara wants to pick out one sentence and parse that and then spin that out into some kind of a theory. I mean, I saw that interview, and I was truly impressed.

I thought Chad Condit was one of the most impressive individuals in the line of fire and for taking fire, and some of the stuff he said I think for the first time gave voice to exactly what it is is going on in the Condit camp.

I mean, you have been saying for a long time, a lot of us, Julian included, had been saying that somebody needs to get out there and talk, and Chad did it, and I think very eloquently.

KING: Nancy Grace, your thoughts on last night and the resignation?

NANCY GRACE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, as to the resignation, unfortunately I see that as just the two resignations as more casualties because of the decisions of Gary Condit. These are two great young people with great futures ahead of them, but by believing in their father, relying on their father, now their careers have been lost, at least with the governor.

As to Chad Condit's interview last night, I watched it, and my heart went out to him, but I felt that the strategy was safe for Gary Condit to send his son out to do his dirty work. The son could not be questioned on the tough questions about Chandra Levy. And...

KING: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt, but he said his father didn't want him to come.

GRACE: I know that, but you know he had to agree with his appearance, Larry. This is a big PR campaign orchestrated by the Condit camp, and I'm sure Gary Condit agreed with it.

But lastly, regarding last night, unfortunately Chad Condit is in the position of taking the same technique as his father. I counted up, 13 times he evaded the question that you presented him regarding relationships with other women -- 13 times in one hour.

KING: And Julian Epstein, your read on all of this, and we'll get a break and we'll swing right into the whole controversy -- Julian.

JULIAN EPSTEIN, FORMER HOUSE JUDICIARY COUNSEL: Well, I think Chad showed himself above all to be a very human person last night. I thought his interview was really extraordinary with you. I thought he was very straightforward. He made it very clear that he was going draw the line and not go over it in terms of what questions he was going to answer.

And look, that's basically the position that I think the Condits have taken. I think they are wrong for doing it, but they are basically taking the position that we have -- whether or not we got it right at first, we have cooperated with the police, we are not going to do these public confessionals now about the extramarital affairs. I think everybody concedes, even though they don't say it, they even see concede with the body language and the implications and their remarks that there were these extramarital affairs.

I generally agree that you don't have to go on television and do these kind of bear-all confessionals, but here is the problem, here is the only place where I really disagree with Chad, which is this: In the context of a missing person, if there is a perception that a person being questioned, a person involved with that mission person, is not being candid, is not being straightforward, then the public is not going to believe that person on the big question, if they don't feel like they are being square on and direct on the small questions.

And that is essentially the problem for Gary Condit right now. Unless I think he can answer those questions, he is going to be at the point of no return politically and in terms of reputation, even if he had absolutely nothing do with the disappearance.

KING: And what do you make of the resignation from the governor's office by the kids?

EPSTEIN: I think it's a very principled position, I think we can all relate to that. If somebody were to -- if somebody were to attack my father, I think my first instinct would be to show that type of loyalty. I think above all it was loyalty, he is showing he is principled, he doesn't want to put himself in a conflicted position, working for a guy who is attacking his father. I don't think you can say -- that it's anything other than a very principled position.

KING: We'll get a break, we'll be back, we will be including your phone calls. Don't go away.


C. CONDIT: I'm here to tell the American public, Gary Condit had nothing to do -- or Carolyn Condit -- had nothing to do with the disappearance. He doesn't know where she is, what happened to her, anything of that nature. He has told the police everything he knows.




CHAD CONDIT: When folks start calling my dad a murderer, or suggesting my mom and dad had something to do with the disappearance, that is too much, too far, unfair, and it is wrong. And somebody has got to say enough is enough.


KING: Barbara, on that point that young Mr. Condit said, despite all this, and he may have handled it terribly, all the affairs -- if we believe it all, there isn't one iota of proof that he had anything to do with the disappearance of Chandra. Is that true?

OLSON: There isn't one iota of hard evidence, you are absolutely right. I disagree with Chad about the people that have been calling his father a murderer. No one has. What people have been saying is, "Here is a witness. Here is a person who the police would naturally want to question." They naturally would want to know what his relationship was, and indeed, want to know what Chandra Levy's state of mind. When that witness lies or evades the simple facts, such as about a relationship, nothing -- having nothing to do with Chandra, that throws suspicion on them.

And indeed, that is why we are suspicious of Gary Condit, because we say, "Why would he lie about things?" We are in -- I'm talking about lying publicly, with his staff, or lying about, what I believe he was, lying on Connie Chung. I think I can say that as my opinion. I think most people hold that opinion, is that he lied about relationship. You then say, what else is there, that you would lie about something so important?"

GERAGOS: What's just amazing about that statement that Barbara just made is Barbara concedes -- as I think she must, and rightfully so -- that what these perceived lies are about have nothing to do with Chandra. And then we make this leap that therefore he must be lying about Chandra.

KING: Let's resume. If he had a relationship -- if he had a relationship with Chandra, are you saying he lied about that because of embarrassment, but he wasn't lying about anything else?

GERAGOS: I've said it before. Except the worst thing that he has been accused of, that there is any evidence of, that there was a relationship with Chandra, the fact that there is relationship with Chandra, to then make the leap that therefore if he is covering up an adulterous affair, that therefore he is a murderer -- I'm sorry, there isn't. I mean, there's a reason that...

OLSON: That is not the leap, Mark, that is not the leap. The leap is that this is a person who the police and the prosecutors went to to get information based on what Linda Zamsky had told them.

GERAGOS: On four separate occasions.

OLSON: He wasn't forthcoming with them, so therefore it puts the suspicion on the person. They say if he is not forthcoming about noncriminal activities, why? What's a person -- natural result.

GERAGOS: Except that isn't what they said. They said they went to him four times, they talked to him four times, he talked to them, and then guess what happened? They said he is no longer a central figure in the investigation. Yet nobody wants to listen to that.

KING: Nancy, if he is no longer a central figure, why do we continue to attack him?

GRACE: Well, for one thing...

KING: If the police have said he's no longer central figure, is he no longer a central figure?

GRACE: Well, very rarely do police come out preindictment and name someone as a target. That simply triggers their Fifth Amendment rights, makes them even more protective of what they do give in cooperation. But in response to Geragos's comment, you know, the fact that he would lie about the simplest things, his relationship, a sex relationship -- how are we supposed to believe what he says about more important things, such as the last time he saw her? Did they argue? Was she pregnant? Was there a five-year plan? I can't believe anything the man says.

GERAGOS: Except the police have already said that they have talked to him. They only -- the worst thing they have ever said is that he hasn't been forthcoming, That is the worst thing that they have ever said. They haven't said that he lied. Because you know as well is a do, if he had lied, that is a criminal offense. And you know as well as I do, also, that under any -- under any legal jurisdiction, you cannot make the leap that you are making that because somebody lies about something that is immaterial, that therefore you can then say they are lying about something else.

GRACE: I'm making a common sense argument that if he would like -- if I could just finish, Mark. If he would lie about the simplest things and show such apathy towards Chandra Levy, I can't believe him on anything, much less why he was throwing away evidence or cleaning out apartment.

EPSTEIN: There is a bridge in that conversation.

KING: We'll let you get a word in, Julian.

EPSTEIN: There is a bridge in the conversation, here, and I think that nobody can say anything about him at this point with any degree of certainty, other than that he is trying to cover up these affairs, and that he doesn't want to speak about the affairs. And it doesn't flow that the fact that he wants to cover up the affairs, that he is in any way involved in her disappearance. It doesn't flow intellectually, it doesn't flow from an evidentiary point of view. It just doesn't flow.

So I think that we have to avoid this becoming like a Salem Witch Trial on television where, you know, we've got some evidence that he has done something wrong and therefore we are going to convict him of something -- of murder.

GRACE: Julian...

EPSTEIN: Now, you may not be doing that, Nancy, but Dominick Dunne was on this show last week, talking about motorcycle theories, all these other things, which I think is just irresponsible. Now, your point -- your point, if I can say, Nancy, I actually agree with you. And Mark, maybe you and I just differ just a little bit on this, but I think what Nancy and Barbara are saying is that even from a legal point of view, this may not be true. But from an intuitive point of view, from public relations point view, if people are not believing you on the small things, they are not likely to believe you on the big things. And that is the central point.

If Mr. Condit doesn't get out and, I think, straighten the record, clarify the record, on the smaller things, this continual suspicion is going to go on about the bigger thing and I think he is going to just damn himself politically in the case.

GRACE: There is another issue. There is one other issue and that is this. I don't know how many murder cases you have handled, defense or prosecution, but when you've got a chief character in a missing person's life, their lover, practically their live-in, lying through teeth about the relationship, you've got a suspect. I don't care what police are saying.



GERAGOS: It is just such a misnomer -- such an absolutely disingenuous thing, Nancy, to keep saying that he was lying. He did not lie to police. You can't -- you can't make that statement. The police have not said that he has done it. You know, it is -- to just keep repeating it a like mantra...

OLSON: Mark, you know what did come out...

GERAGOS: And to say that therefore he lied to the police, and therefore, it must mean he is guilty of the crime, you know that that isn't what happened. Why...

OLSON: Mark, what did come out during the...

KING: I've got to get a break. Barbara, go ahead quickly.

OLSON: I was going to say what did come out in last week's interviews was that not necessarily that he lied, but even his team admits that he questioned the police about the relevance of their questions about Chandra. When they started asking him about a relationship, he refused to answer saying, "You prove it is relevant." And obviously the police couldn't force him to answer, so we did have him evasive, we did have him not being forth coming and admitting it.

KING: We will break. We'll come right back. We'll be including your phone calls tonight. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHAD CONDIT: He didn't have anything to do with it.

KING: You...

CONDIT: I know that. I know that.

KING: You know in your heart?

CONDIT: I know in any heart ,but my mom was in town. The police know where he was at. He was meeting with the vice president at 12:30 or 1:00 that afternoon. We know he didn't. So not only in my heart, sure, I feel that in my heart. But we know that he didn't.




ANNE MARIE SMITH, CLAIMS AFFAIR WITH CONDIT: He has taken steps to put himself in this position. He asked me to lie, and if I hadn't had an attorney, I would have perjured myself. I mean, I wasn't aware of the law and I wanted to keep my name out of the media, and I would have marched right over there and signed that affidavit.


KING: Do you agree, Mark Geragos, that most people think Anne Marie Smith is telling the truth?

GERAGOS: I don't know. I mean, there is -- when you see somebody like whatever his name is, her lawyer, out there with Judicial Watch in Modesto, filing a complaint to get the grand jury to investigate obstruction of justice, I mean, it is so...

KING: But now you're doing what you're saying Barbara did. That doesn't mean she's telling all lies.

GERAGOS: Right, but at the same time, it does. It just creates -- it's such a theatrical and such a ridiculous atmosphere. There isn't anything the grand jury can do in Modesto that has to do with this.

KING: The question was do you think Anne Marie is lying?

GERAGOS: I don't think Anne Marie is telling the whole truth. That is my opinion.


KING: Who's laughing? Barbara or Nancy or both?


EPSTEIN: Barbara's always laughing when Mark's talking.

OLSON: Well, I had to laugh because he doesn't think she's telling the whole truth. The Levys have made that statement about Gary Condit, so it seemed like a borrowed line.

But let's go back to what made Anne Marie Smith come forward. She was frightened. You know, the night she was on your show, Larry, when we talked to the attorney the next night she was very frightened. She wanted to come out because she realized that there was...


GERAGOS: Oh, come on. She was frightened? Barbara, that is the most absurd thing. She wasn't frightened. She was out there, she was going with the "National Enquirer" or the "Star" or whoever it was. Her roommate was out selling these stories...

OLSON: She was not.


OLSON: Mark, you've got to get your facts straight. She wasn't going to the "National Enquirer" or the "Star." No, that was her roommate, and she did not...

EPSTEIN: Larry, can I give you a third theory on this?

KING: Yes, go ahead, Julian.

EPSTEIN: A third theory on this -- I don't disbelieve Anne Marie Smith. I assume that she's probably telling the truth at this point. But that's not the important point. The important point is that I don't see how this filing of this case does anything to deal with the most important aspect, the most important issue, which is finding Chandra Levy.

Here on this case, what they're doing is they're attempting to take this out of the prosecutor's hands by going directly through this kind of obscure statute. The case is already being investigated by the federal authorities. Why do they want to put it in the state authorities? They're using a creature of law that really comes out of the 1800s. I don't see how it really advances that case.

OLSON: Julian, this has a lot to do with whether Gary Condit called up a witness and asked her to sign a false affidavit. This has a lot to do about Gary Condit's actions to obstruct an investigation. I mean...


EPSTEIN: But why take it out of the hands, Barbara? Why take it out of -- why try -- this is being done now by the federal authorities in the U.S. attorney's office in the District of Columbia. Why try to now remove that to a state proceeding, which is going to, in a clumsy way...


OLSON: Because Anne Marie Smith...

EPSTEIN: And why take that decision away? If there should be a prosecution, if there should be indictment, why take the decision away from a prosecutor?

OLSON: I'll tell you why. Because Gary Condit, on television, basically said Anne Marie Smith had lied. She lied when she told us, the public, about the relationship. We know she sat down with the FBI for two days, over nine hours worth of interviews. We assume she told them the same thing. Gary Condit basically said Anne Marie Smith has perjured herself. That's a very serious thing to say, and Anne Marie Smith is now forced into a position...


GERAGOS: Therefore somehow she's going to be indicted...

OLSON: No, she's not going to be indicted, because I don't think she perjured herself.

GERAGOS: Then why is he in front of a grand jury? Then why are they going to a grand jury in Modesto, California?

OLSON: Because I think Anne Marie Smith...

GERAGOS: Because that's where he did the interview? And because he did an interview in Modesto, California, therefore the grand jury is going to come and indict?

OLSON: Where would you like her to go, Mark?

GERAGOS: Where? Where? Anne Marie Smith? Back under whatever rock she crawled out from under!

OLSON: See, that's uncalled for.

KING: Let me a break and we'll actually have Nancy get a word in. This is one of those rare times Nancy didn't get a word in. And we're going to go to your calls shortly. We'll also ask about what they think he's going to do politically. Don't go away.


C. CONDIT: We thought dealing with the police and not making a spectacle out of whatever was the right thing to do. And anybody in journalism or anywhere else that writes about or talks about the sexual relationships that Chandra Levy may or may not have, is a scumbag. There's been people that have done that, and it's wrong. People should not be profiting off of rumored sexual relationships that a disappearing person has had. It's not right.



KING: In retrospect, should he have called the Levys more?

C. CONDIT: He talked to Levys May 6th.

KING: I mean May 7th, May 8th, maybe May 9th, 10th, 15th, 23rd...

C. CONDIT: It's pretty hard when there is an accusatorial tone coming from their family. It's hard. And sure, if we could figure out how -- well, Gary has said -- to sit down with the Levys, him and Levys tomorrow. But we're not going to make a media circus or a lawyer deal up. If they want to sit down, he'll do that. He said that.


KING: Nancy, Chad also said that his vote with the family would be for the congressman not to seek reelection. What do you think he is going to do?

GRACE: I think that he will seek reelection. I think that Condit, from what we can tell, is a creature of habit. He repeats his own practices over and over and over. I think he will seek reelection.

Regarding the case Anne Marie Smith is bringing, I don't see a problem with their attempts. Modesto is the correct jurisdiction to do that. The Condit camp is doing anything they can to attack the reputation of any woman involved with Gary Condit. And just trial strategy, this is just speculation as to why they are trying to use that outmoded statute -- possibly, they don't trust local prosecutors for political reasons and want to go about it themselves.

KING: Barbara, you think they have any chance of success with that?

OLSON: Well, I mean, I disagree a little bit...

KING: Most of the legal experts say no.

OLSON: Right, and I don't think so and I'll tell you why. Gray Davis -- we're in the midst of redistricting the state. He controls a great deal of that. Gephardt is not going to be helpful as well. We now know he's no longer saying Gary Condit is an honorable man. And so you've got Gary Condit looking at a future district run that's not going to be the conservative Democrat district that elected him. The Democrats are going to put more moderates in, and I think he's going to see the writing on the wall when his party, Terry McAuliffe, Gephardt, and now Gray Davis, turn against him. It's going to become impossible, just as a political matter, even if he does want to run.

As Mary Grace said, he is a political animal, but I think he's going to see the writing on the wall. And I think his son's statement last night wasn't necessarily -- I mean, I think it's the first time it's been said, but as he said to you, the family discusses that, they're all together. They know where they are going, and so I'm not so sure they're not discussing that as well. And he came forward a little more than he expected to with you.

KING: Nancy Grace -- you always call her Mary Grace.

OLSON: I'm sorry. I apologize. I know a Mary Grace.


EPSTEIN: I hate to, as a matter of principle, agree with Barbara, but I have to agree with her on what she said. And if you study the major scandals dating back the last quarter century, from Watergate on through about two dozen Congressional scandals up through the impeachment process of President Clinton, you will see that the acid test of when a member of Congress, a public official, gets to that breaking point where they can't turn back, it's when members of their own party begin to turn on them. And you've seen that happen this week.

If things stay as they are, status quo, if Gary Condit leaves the record as it is, I think he is past the breaking point. If, however, he were to, say, come on this program, another program, and basically try to clarify what I call the smaller questions, the questions about the affairs, even though he thinks in principle he doesn't have to. I think he does because of the widespread perception that there was dishonesty in the early days of this thing. If he does that, then maybe it could change. But until he does that, he's in a rut.

KING: I'm going to take a break. We'll reintroduce our panel and go to your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We are back. Let's meet our panel again then go to phone calls. In Washington, Barbara Olson former federal prosecutor, best- selling author. In New York, Nancy Grace, former prosecutor herself, and anchor of "Trail Heat" on Court TV. Here in Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney. And in Washington, Julian Epstein, the former chief minority counsel for House Judiciary.

Let's go to some phone calls. Natick, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Hi there. I just want to say, to preface my question with a remark that I thought his son Chad conducted himself admirably. I would like to know, I know there were so many important issues, but I just cannot understand why the panel, including Connie Chung, sorry, yes, Connie Chung, was so hung up on Condit admitting his sexual -- the word "sexual" relationship.

What relevance, how much can someone pummel someone to admit that? And what relevance does that word have in the scheme of everything else?

KING: All right, who wants to take -- Nancy? GRACE: Well, I think -- I understand where she is coming from. But the fact is that Condit is evasive on even the simplest issues, including the nature of his relationship with a woman that is now, by many, presumed dead. So, with that foundation, everything else he says is tainted, including things regarding the disappearance, like the last time he saw her, did he see her that day? Did they argue? Was she pregnant? The police can no longer believe anything he says.

GERAGOS: Except apparently they do, so...

GRACE: I don't know that.

GERAGOS: I guess the police apparently -- apparently, they don't agree with you, so other than that, Nancy, it is a wonderful (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GRACE: That is not true, Mark.

GERAGOS: Well, they do. They have said repeatedly, they are not interested him anymore.


KING: Niagara Falls, New York, hello.

CALLER: Larry, thanks for taking my call. This is being directed to the women on the panel.


CALLER: When they find out what happened to Chandra, how are you going to make this up to the Condit family? Especially the kids. I watched Chad last night. My heart was broken. I admire the kids' decision to resign their jobs, but it is sad they had to do that.

KING: All right, Barbara, she is assuming that we will find the conclusion to this, and that the congressman will not be culprit. If that is true, do you owe him an apology?

OLSON: Do I owe Gary Condit an apology?

KING: Yeah.

OLSON: I don't think I do. I want to agree with her about Gary Condit's son, Chad. I think all of us watched it. All of us have fathers and we realize, I would go out there and do that I could to help my dad.

He really was speaking from the heart. He believes his dad didn't have anything to do with it. And I have to say, we are on television talking about evidence. We are talking about what clues are out there. We are trying to put things together based on experience. Mine's being a prosecutor, Nancy Grace's being an prosecutor and that is where we are going with what we know, trying to put it together as a prosecutor would. If he is not involved, I still believe he did everything he could to make himself look suspicious. If he was not involved, then he shouldn't have acted the way he was, because he called this on him. I don't believe the media are to blame, as Chad said last night and Gary said last Friday night. It is not the media. There is not a victim here except for Chandra. And Gary Condit has caused the grief that he he's having because of his own actions.

KING: He certainly added to his own problems, didn't he, Mark? And I gave that example last night, if he had come forward?

GERAGOS: If he had come forward. But what seems to get lost in all of this, with all of this suspicion, with all of the pointing of fingers, he has given up his constitutional rights. He has waived, basically, virtually the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment in order to cooperate here.

And this idea that because, and people have repeated this, and what Chad was saying last night and I thought so articulately, is, he cooperated with those that he thought he should cooperate with. And he made a choice not to cooperate with the media.

KING: And that was a public relations mistake and that is important, isn't it?

GERAGOS: And you and I have agreed on this before. In the last five or six years, the whole nature of the criminal law has changed. You can no longer, I don't think, go out there and let your client just be mum. You to do something and you need to have a strategy.

GRACE: Larry.

KING: Nancy.

GRACE: I had one comment I would like to make to the lady caller that just called in, your second caller. I'm coming from the point of view not just as a former prosecutor, but as a victim of violent crime. If and when Chandra or her remains turn up, I would still hold Condit responsible for impeding this investigation. For that, I find it very difficult to forgive him.

KING: We will take a break and go to more phone calls and Nancy has an interesting observation about the lie detector as well. And we will get Julian to comment on that and then more calls. Don't go away.


C. CONDIT: I don't think she handled the interview right at all. When you asked somebody, did you murder somebody, like the second or third question, what kind of interview are you going to get? Not a very good one.



QUESTION: What do you call a relationship?

SMITH: It's, you know, when somebody calls you every day and you see them periodically, or, you know, frequently. I have friends that can corroborate the story. It's like, I don't understand what he defines as a relationship.


KING: That, of course, Anne Marie Smith. Before we go back to calls, Nancy Grace told me something off the air, that Ron Carey, the former president of Teamsters was indicted today. And apparently he had -- he had given a lie detector to the person who did -- what happened, quickly?

GRACE: That's right. Larry, what I was telling you is that Barry Colvert, the polygraph guru that everyone has latched on that apparently gave Condit these flying colors, A-plus on his polygraph, also gave a polygraph and gave an A-plus to Ron Carey, the former Teamster president back in '98.

Well, this morning, following a grand jury indictment, Carey is going on trial before a jury for funneling thousands and thousands of dollars out of the Teamster pension fund. So I'm not so sure that that polygraph meant anything.

EPSTEIN: To which the response, Larry, to which the response is, if you seem to have such a bee in your bonnet about him taking another polygraph test, you have just basically said that you think they are unreliable. Why would you want him to take one, if seem to be unreliable this way?

GRACE: No, I'm saying that a non-police polygraph -- I'd like to see Condit take a polygraph administered by the police.

EPSTEIN: No, but the polygraph -- the polygraph that was given to Ron Carey, unless I'm mistaken, was done by Colvert, and it was done as a part of an FBI-administered inquiry into that.


EPSTEIN: So, that was part of an FBI process, so you're now saying that they are unreliable. Why do you want Gary Condit to go take something that you yourself are saying...


GERAGOS: The fact of the matter is, Nancy, if I understood you correctly...

KING: She said it's after...


GERAGOS: Well, the fact of the matter is, he went on trial, right? He hasn't been convicted yet? Do I understand you correctly?

GRACE: That's correct. That's correct.

GERAGOS: So therefore, because a grand jury indicted him, and he passed a polygraph, therefore polygraphs are unreliable, is that what we're hearing here?

GRACE: I'm suggesting to you, Mark Geragos, that Barry Colvert's polygraphs are not the be-all and end-all of truth-telling.

GERAGOS: Why don't we see what the jury does with Carey first. I'm suggesting to you that a grand jury will indict lots of innocent people, and have.

GRACE: I'm sure you are, Mark.

KING: Rochester, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi. During the Connie Chung interview, if Condit had simply said, "I had an inappropriate relationship," would that have satisfied the media? Would he have to go into a -- quote -- "bear- all" confession?

KING: Barbara, what if he had said "inappropriate relationship"?

OLSON: I mean, it depends on how he couched it. I mean, we all know what Bill Clinton did. He made it very clear that it was intimate, that it was inappropriate. He didn't go into the details.

But the problem is -- and I don't know, I don't think Gary Condit needed to go into details. I think he needed to go beyond "we had a friendship." I think he needed to go beyond "a close friendship." I think it was the basis for a lot of Connie Chung's questions, as to sort of set that baseline.

If he had said -- and I fully expected Gary Condit to give a statement-like answer to the first question -- was "we had an inappropriate relationship, we were very close for such and such months," and do the timeline, and then say, "but I'm not going to go into the details about that inappropriate relationship," I think that would have been certainly closer to the truth than he gave.

EPSTEIN: That's exactly right, Larry. If he had said that I had an inappropriate relationship, as Barbara just said, and that I wasn't as cooperative and forthcoming with the police as I should have been, because I panicked, I got into a bad situation, I didn't know how to handle it, I think then people could have moved on.

And I don't believe, as I said, in these public confessionals normally. The only reason why it is relevant here, the only reason is because there is some theoretical relevance between a relationship and the fact that she is missing, and there was a lack of honesty early about it, that is why it is relevant.

KING: And he could still do that. EPSTEIN: He can still do it. He can come on your show tomorrow and talk about it. I think if he would do it, it would serve him a lot of good, because as I say, people got to believe him on the little things before they will believe him on the big things.

KING: Valiant, Oklahoma, hello.

CALLER: Hello. How does the panel know that Gary Condit was part of a five-year plan and not just part of Chandra's wishful thinking? And how do these women know that Gary Condit lied to the police? Have they said what they asked him and what his answers were?

KING: No, that they haven't done, Barbara, right? All this is on leaks, right?

OLSON: Well, not all of it. I mean, Linda Zamsky has come and publicly said what Chandra Levy, her niece, told her, and Linda said that Chandra told me...

KING: The caller's question was, how do you know Chandra was telling her the right thing? We will never know, right?

OLSON: Chandra could be delusional and then telling her aunt that, but there is also -- it's interesting, as a prosecutor and just a listener, you start putting facts together. Is everyone delusional because now Gary Condit has said he didn't have a relationship with Anne Marie Smith? The police lied about his cooperation? Joleen McKay wasn't a relationship? Chandra Levy and him never talked about their future?

Well, we know now quite a bit about who Chandra Levy is, we know about prior relationships. From Lisa DePaulo, we know Chandra Levy wanted to get married. It's in rational line with what she told the aunt.


OLSON: So she may be delusional, but it doesn't sound like it. It sounds like Gary Condit is the one who hasn't been, and we are doing this by the process of deduction.

GERAGOS: Well, I don't know, this deduction is an interesting thing, because with all due respect to Lisa DePaulo...

OLSON: Facts.

GERAGOS: Apparently, Lisa DePaulo knows things about Chandra that her own parents don't know about her, so, you know, with all due respect to anybody's speculations...

OLSON: Lisa talked to close friends of hers.

GERAGOS: Well...

OLSON: Seth Jones, new Chandra. GERAGOS: ... what Lisa came up with -- apparently -- apparently, the close friends know things and the parents don't know things, and I don't know...


GERAGOS: ... about what Chandra was doing is just irresponsible.

EPSTEIN: Back to the question, Larry. I mean, I think that we are all relatively certain at this point, and I think that Gary Condit and Gary Condit's attorneys have pretty much made it clear. I think it is -- I think it is overstating the case to say that he outright lied to the police and obstructed the investigation, I think what happened in the first interview the police asked him whether the relationship was romantic, and he basically said to them, "mind your own business," and he declined to answer it.

It is not, as Mark points out, a crime for him to do that, to decline to answer a question, but when you have a missing person, that failure to go the next step to provide the police all of the information at the earliest stages is at minimum a moral failure, and I don't think anybody can defend that.

KING: We'll have Nancy comment right after this break, and we'll include more phone calls. Nancy goes next, don't go away.


KING: Has he made a decision about his political life?

C. CONDIT: He has been in the public life for 30 years, never an allegation, never a charge. I don't know if he will run again. My family vote would be that he doesn't, I don't think he deserves this. I don't think my mom deserves this. But that will be decided in the next few weeks.



KING: Nancy wanted to say something, and then we'll take another call. Nancy, the trial involving the former teamster official began today, he was previously indicted.

GRACE: Correct. Correct.


KING: All right, what did you want to say, and then we'll get another call?

GRACE: Well, to your lady caller from Oklahoma recording this so-called five-year plan, you know, I have had to look at the credibility of a lot of witnesses, and I always say when you don't know a horse, look at his track record. We have no evidence that Chandra had ever been a liar or deceptive in the past, we do have evidence that Mr. Condit has been deceptive, so that's how you make your credibility call.

KING: Sacramento, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: My question is: Do any of the people on the panel know if the Condits have hired bodyguards, or if they have had death threats?

GERAGOS: I know -- I know that they have had numerous death threats and death calls and just all kinds of crazy things directed at them. It has been almost an onslaught. They kind of live under siege at the house, is my understanding. And Chad and Cadee, the kids, have been followed, and the parents have been threatened as well.

KING: If you joined us late, those kids quit Governor Davis' office today, both holding top key jobs.

GERAGOS: Cadee was chief assistant in charge of special projects, and Chad, as he told you last night, was his Central Valley guy.

KING: Julian, what's it going to be like for the congressman in Washington next week?

EPSTEIN: Very tough, for the reasons that I said. When your party begins to turn against you, there are not many places for you to go. I think he has painted himself in a corner. But again I come back to this point. I think he can come out of this thing if he comes and he does a mea culpa and he comes on this program or somewhere else, again, and he basically answers these questions.

But you know, also, remember what President Bush, interestingly enough, said the other day, which is -- he said, essentially, that he believes a lot of this chatter is a sideshow. He seemed to indicate that he didn't believe any of it was necessarily relevant to where Chandra Levy is.

And you wonder about John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted" and his theory about a serial murder that's out there. And you worry that if there is this criminal that has nothing to do with Gary Condit, watching LARRY KING LIVE on television and snickering, saying, "Wow, they keep focusing on this decoy. This has been great for me because it's keeping them off my trail."

KING: Don't serial killers do it again, and don't they usually want to read about themselves?

EPSTEIN: Well, you know, there's all kinds of serial killers. And there is another theory that there is a random situation going out there. We have talked about Joyce Chang and the others before. And I've commented that I live in the community and I think that's the general sentiment of the people that live in community, was that this is a situation that the police have not gotten on top of and there is somebody out there who is a very dangerous person.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments and more comments. Panel back again tomorrow, by the way, Don't go away.


KING: Barbara, you have been part of investigations, does this -- where is this going? Is there any leads? I mean, what -- where -- what is the last page -- what is the last picture in the cartoon strip?

OLSON: Boy, the last picture. I mean the idea that they have not found Chandra Levy is perplexing. I mean, people usually turn up. If they are in the woods or somewhere, someone comes across them, something happens. And so that is odd. The last page is the police keep this as open case, a lot of people have seen her picture worldwide, they know what she looks like. Someone needs to make a connection somewhere and send the police on a trail, because right now they are waiting to get more information from someone who has talked to anybody that has been mentioned that maybe could add to the story.

KING: Mark, what do you make of it? This is -- I have talked to police here and elsewhere. Usually missing people turn up.

GERAGOS: Absolutely. We're reaching exactly the same period of time, that it took to find Joyce Chang, and usually you find these people much quicker. That is -- I think, though, that this case has taken so many bizarre twists and turns that there is still yet some other bizarre twist or turn that's going to come out.

KING: But did -- have no lead at all, to have no one call in, with a lead...

GERAGOS: Apparently there are all kinds of leads, and they've gotten all kinds of calls. Whether or not those are rational is a completely different story.

KING: Nancy, you are a veteran of these kind of things. Perplexing?

GRACE: Well, to the sense that she has not been located yet. But it does signify to me a major clue. Random rapists and killers -- the body normally turns up fairly quickly. That means to me that this is very well thought out, and not random.

KING: A planned killing.

GRACE: Yes, very much so. And a planned disposal of Chandra Levy.

KING: Julian.

EPSTEIN: Well, I think the likelihood is -- given that we don't have any clues over four months -- is that it is the work of a professional. And, you know, while your heart goes out to the Levys ,I think your heart also has to go out to the tens of thousands of other parents whose children go missing and who weren't having an affair with a member of Congress or an elected official, and didn't have therefore the cachet so it didn't get coverage every night on LARRY KING LIVE and everywhere else.

You know, everyone who is familiar with the way the police investigates this, at least in the nation's capitol, will tell you that the system is a very primitive system for many reasons. And I hope if nothing else, this can at least develop some type of consensus so that we can take these tens of other thousands of cases, and the equal pain that their families feel, with greater seriousness.

KING: When you say "professional", you mean hired person?

EPSTEIN: I tend to think that if you don't have any clue after four months, it is somebody who really knows what they are doing. I don't know if it is hired or not hired. But it is somebody who -- who is quite skilled at making a person disappear.

KING: And not helped, Nancy, by a $250,000 reward?

GRACE: Well, you know...

KING: Only one person knows what happened.

GRACE: That's right. And the other issue is, not only is it someone who had planned this out very carefully, it is someone who has motive stronger than $250,000 reward to keep it quiet.

OLSON: And the person hasn't talked, because you're right, Larry, 250,000 if someone did this -- usually they talk to someone who talks to someone and at some point the money makes a person come forward and give them clues.

GERAGOS: If we are going to use that logic, then -- and this is a hired killing -- then whoever it was must have been paid more than 250,000.

OLSON: Not necessarily.

GERAGOS: Then I can pretty much say that it's not Gary Condit, because he hasn't earned that much money in the last two years.

OLSON: That's not true. As you know, people can be killed for nothing.

GERAGOS: You explain to me. Did he go -- well, then why wouldn't this person who killed for nothing come forward and take the $250,000?

KING: Because he is the killer. He would be confessing.

OLSON: I was going say because murder one is life.

GERAGOS: I've got who it is. I will go and I'll surrender and cut a deal.


GERAGOS: They'll give him whatever he wants.

KING: Guys, we'll see you. Thanks again. We'll see you tomorrow. Barbara Olson, Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos and Julian Epstein.

"CNN TONIGHT" will be right on top of this, of course. And we remind you that it occurred earlier, just as we were going on air, that the two young -- the son and daughter of the congressman have resigned from Governor Gray Davis's office in California.

By the way, Oprah Winfrey exclusive interview next Tuesday night, one week from tonight. Oprah for the full hour. Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for" CNN TONIGHT," and good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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