Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

August 2020
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Gary Condit

15 Years Later, Ex-Congressman Gary Condit Decides to Lie About His Relationship With Chandra Levy

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-12-27-00-am

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ok, so it’s an election year where both sides in the presidential race have been endlessly accusing one another of lying. Perhaps, having been out of the game for a while,  former Congressman Gary Condit, a blue dog Democrat from California, feels left out and has the itch to lie, too.

I’m referring to his high-profile interview on Dr. Phil this week in which he insisted that he had a platonic relationship with intern Chandra Levy. He says police tried to frame him.

“I saw her one time outside the office, at a restaurant, and she came by my condo once,” Condit said of Levy on Dr. Phil. “Maybe twice. Yeah, I think it was twice she came by. Once again, I want to make this clear: There’s nothing unusual about someone coming by my condo. A lot of people did. People have made some speculation that that means something special … Both times she had a valid reason to come by.”

While at the Washington Post, I was one of the lead reporters who covered the tragic disappearance of Chandra Levy in 2001 and the discovery of her skeletal remains in 2002 in Rock Creek Park in northwest D.C.

Back in 2001, I first reported that Condit, during his first interview with D.C. police, admitted that Levy, who was from his California Congressional district, had slept over his apartment in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington. She was a 24-year-old intern with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Condit was then asked by police: So you were having an affair, to which he replied: “You figure it out.” At the time, details of the police interview were confirmed by five sources.

As the summer wore on, D.C. police and the FBI insisted that he was not a suspect. But they continued to investigate him, and follow up with interviews. He was certainly a person of interest, though there were some in law enforcement who felt strongly that he did not harm Levy.

Still, things weren’t going so well for Condit. The public was suspicious. (The next year he lost his bid for re-election).

His handlers, including the very aggressive and able Washington lawyer, Abbe Lowell, decided it would be best for him to take to the airwaves and clear things up.  ABC’s Connie Chung was granted the interview, which was a big get at the time.

On Aug. 23, 2001, the interview aired. It was a disaster.

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

A source who knew Condit told me that he was supposed begin the interview by reading a statement and admitting that he had an affair with Levy. The thought was that such candidness would give him credibility when he denied having anything to do with her disappearance.

Instead, he decided to forgo the statement and answer Chung’s questions.

It was a public relations nightmare. I watched the interview in the newsroom in near shock. I couldn’t believe he was being so evasive.

Chung asked if he had anything to do with her disappearance.

He responded: “No, I didn’t.”

She eventually got around to asking about the relationship.

CHUNG: Can you describe your relationship? What exactly was your relationship with Chandra Levy?

CONDIT: Well, I met Chandra … last, um, October. And we became very close. I met her in Washington, DC.

CHUNG Very close, meaning …?

CONDIT: We had a close relationship. I liked her very much.

CHUNG: May I ask you, was it a sexual relationship?

CONDIT: Well, Connie, I’ve been married for 34 years, and I’ve not been a … a perfect man, and I’ve made my share of mistakes. But um, out of respect for my family, and out of a specific request from the Levy family, I think it’s best that I not get into those details uh, about Chandra Levy.

If there were a time to plead his case, and deny having the relationship, it would have been then. But Condit knew better. So did the public.

Chung, who knew she had a ratings winner, pressed on. It was the biggest story of the summer.

CHUNG :  What we’re talking about is whether or not you will come forward to uh, lift this veil of suspicion that seems to have clouded you. Can you tell us … did you have a romantic relationship with Chandra Levy?

CONDIT:  Well, once again, I’ve been married 34 years. I have not been a perfect man. I have made mistakes in my life. But out of respect for my family, out of a specific request by the Levy family, it is best that I not get into the details of the relationship.

CHUNG:  Can you tell me this: was Chandra Levy in love with you? Were you in love with her?

CONDIT:  Well, I don’t know that she was in love with me. She never said so. And I was not in love with her.

CHUNG: Did she want to marry you and have your child?

CONDIT:  I only knew Chandra Levy for five months. And in that five months’ period, we never had a discussion about a future, about children, about marriage. Any of those items never came up in that five-month period.

CHUNG:  Did you ever make promises to her?

CONDIT: Never.

CHUNG: Did she want you to leave your wife?

CONDIT:  No. I mean, I’ve been married for 34 years, and I intend to stay married to that woman as long as she’ll have me.

And, oh yes, by the way, if there’s still any doubt,  investigators recovered a pair of  Chandra Levy’s underwear with Condit’s semen.

Condit has now written a book on his experiences titled: “Actual Malice: A True Crime Political Thriller.”

Obviously, he’ll sell more books if he’s viewed as a victim rather than a married Congressman full of b.s. who carried on an affair while his dutiful wife stayed back home in Modesto, Calif.

Eventually, the focus shifted to Ingmar Guandique, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador,  who ended up being convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010. He was  sentenced to 60 years in prison, but the conviction was tossed and a new trial was ordered. In July, shortly, before the trial was to begin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office  dropped the charges, saying it couldn’t prove the case.

Some people still think Guandique did it. After all, he had previously attacked female joggers in the park before Levy disappeared.

But others are once again asking: Who killed Chandra Levy?

Prosecutor: Chandra Levy Deserves Justice

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — The nine-year march down a tortuous path toward justice for the Chandra Levy family, prosecutors and investigators came down to final arguments today in D.C. Superior Court in the murder trial of an illegal immigrant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines, armed with no physical evidence to speak of, told jurors to use common sense and convict Ingmar Guandique, 29, of murder in Levy’s death .Haines pointed to his history — convictions for two assaults on joggers in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington in close proximity to where Levy’s skeletal remains were found one year after her disappearance, according to an account in The Washington Post.

And Haines mentioned the testimony of Guandique’s cellmate, who said Guandique confessed to killing Levy. Guandique pleaded guilty in 2002 to attacking the two joggers and received a 10-year sentence.

“She’s been waiting nine years for justice,” Haines told jurors of Levy. “Just because it’s been nine years coming doesn’t mean it should be denied.” She called the slaying “ghastly.”

To read more click here.

Gary Condit Refuses to Discuss Relationship with Slain Intern Chandra Levy

Gary Condit in a desposition in 2004/CBS

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ex-California congressman Gary A. Condit,graying and looking far less youthful than he did nine years ago, took the witness stand Monday in D.C. Superior Court in the murder trial of Chandra Levy and refused to discuss his relationship with the slain intern.

The Washington Post reports that he was asked at least three times if he’d had an intimate relationship with Levy, but he refused to go down that path, as he has in the past. Investigators during the investigation linked the DNA from semen in Levy’s underwear to Condit, who is now 62 and lives in Arizona.

“I don’t believe it’s relevant,” Condit said at one point while on the stand, according to the Post. “I am not going to respond to that question out of privacy for myself and Chandra.”

Ingmar Guandique, 29, has been charged in Levy’s 2001 death. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, not far from where Levy’s skeletal remains were found in 2002.

The Post reported that Condit did testify that he didn’t kill Levy and he had nothing to do with her disappearance. He called her a friend and constituent.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which handles both federal and local crimes in the District.

To read more click here.

Ex-Congressman Linked to Chandra Levy Writing a Book

Allan Lengel, editor of ticklethewire.com, covered the first two years of the Chandra Levy investigation  for the Washington Post.

Gary Condit/CBS

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

In a law office in an upscale section of Los Angeles, an unfinished yet potentially explosive book manuscript by a controversial figure, former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, sits in a safe.

“I’ve read it. I think it’s one of the most dramatic stories I’ve read,” said Condit’s attorney and spokesman, Bert Fields, whose safe holds the tantalizing manuscript — Condit’s account of his drama after being linked to intern Chandra Levy. “It’s a Shakespearean drama.”

Condit was once a politically invincible congressman from Central California, but his career imploded after he was romantically linked to the 24-year-old Levy. But Condit, 62, is returning to the limelight as jury selection gets under way this week in D.C. Superior Court for the trial of Ingmar Guandique, the illegal immigrant accused of killing Levy.

Chandra Levy

Stories mentioning Condit’s name are suddenly popping up. And on Monday, the first day of jury selection, prosecutors mentioned some names that might surface during trial — and Condit’s was one of them.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Nine Years Later, a Book on the FBI and D.C. Police Probe into Slain Intern Chandra Levy

Back in 2001, when I was a reporter for the Washington Post, I started working on a story about a missing intern named Chandra Levy. For a while, I worked day and night, and even went to California for three weeks to work on the story. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and the story vanished, only to resurface in May 2002 when her skeletal remains were found in Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington. Now 9 years later, former colleagues Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz, who have doggedly pursued the story, have written a book on the case called “Finding Chandra: A True Washington Mystery”. Here’s part of the story, an adaptation of the book. Allan Lengel

chandra book

By Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — The three D.C. detectives traveled 3,000 miles with a carefully crafted plan.

At a sand-colored, maximum-security federal prison on the edge of the Mojave Desert, they prepared to interview the man they suspected of raping and murdering Washington intern Chandra Ann Levy. It was Sept. 9, 2008.

For seven years, Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant with a penchant for violence toward women, had eluded the police and FBI as a viable suspect in the city’s most famous unsolved murder. The original detectives failed to connect him to the crime that captured the attention of the nation during the summer of 2001 with its subplots of sex and scandal and the possibility that a member of Congress might have been involved.

Now it was up to the new detectives. They put their plan into play. They took a sample of Guandique’s DNA and, bluffing, told him they expected it would match DNA collected during the murder investigation.

“So what if I touched her?” Guandique said.

To read more click here.

Ex-Lawmaker Gary Condit Could Have Been More Honest With FBI and Police Investigators in Chandra Levy Case

Allan Lengel-editor of ticklethewire.com
Allan Lengel-editor of ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Sadly, in the end, ex- California Congressman Gary Condit got a raw deal in the Chandra Levy case. Sadly he brought it on with his arrogance and deceit. I say all this,  now that suspect Ingmar Guandique – who is already in prison on another case– is about to be charged in the slaying of the 24-year-old intern.

Back on June 7, 2001, as a reporter at the Washington Post, I wrote that a fairly obscure California Congressman , Gary Condit had told D.C. police that missing intern Chandra Levy had stayed over night on occasion at his apartment in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood . When police pressed him about having an affair, he said something to the effect: “You figure it out.”

The story caused a firestorm. Condit’s attorney wrote a letter to the Washington Post demanding a retraction. His chief of staff in Modesto called me and demanded a retraction. I had four sources confirm the story. I was on solid ground. So I told his chief of staff to call the D.C. police public information office. Often for politicians, I said, they would make public statements correcting or clarifying an erroneous media report. I knew they wouldn’t correct the story because it was true.

He blurted out: “How dare you suggest we get special treatment.” The paper backed me up. The story stood. Condit quickly became a person of interest in the case.

Months later, the same staff member apologized and said none of the staff ever asked Condit point blank about the affair. They just believed what he spouted publicly.

Now, with word that someone else is expected to be charged this week, people are speaking out on Condit’s behalf.

Read more »