Condit passes private polygraph, lawyer says
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- California Rep. Gary Condit passed a private polygraph test in the disappearance of former intern Chandra Levy, his lawyer said Friday, but police and Levy's family discounted the results.
Lowell said Condit showed no sign of deception when asked whether he had anything to do with Levy's disappearance, if he harmed her or caused anyone else to harm her or whether he knows where she can be found.
"Those people who are honestly concerned about the disappearance of Ms. Levy will now realize that Congressman Condit has exhausted the information he can provide and that the spotlight on him should be turned elsewhere," Lowell said.
The test results will be turned over the Washington police and FBI, Lowell said. Condit, D-California, has also given police a DNA sample for possible use in the investigation, he said.
Levy, 24, was last reported seen April 30 at a Washington gym. She had packed her bags and told her family she was coming home after completing an internship at the federal Bureau of Prisons. Condit, 53, a married father of two, has been a focus of attention due to reports he was romantically involved with her.
The Levy family has asked Condit to take a lie-detector test for more than a week, and Washington police announced Tuesday they would ask him to do so. District of Columbia Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer called Lowell's report of Condit's polygraph test "a bit self-serving."
"The technology and the subjective and objective things that go into a polygraph aren't answered by him having a press conference," Gainer said. "I am happy that he says he is going to give that to the Metropolitan Police and the FBI, and we'll examine that ... but again, that's not normal techniques."
The Levy family said in a written statement Friday night that Condit should sit for an examination by the police or FBI. "Once again, it shows to us that the congressman is releasing information on his terms when he wants to release that information. We're asking him to be fully cooperate and not cooperate on his terms," said Billy Martin, a lawyer for the Levy family.
News of the lie-detector test came as police renewed a search of abandoned buildings in northwest Washington on Friday in an intensified effort to find Levy.
Police using cadaver dogs in some cases had searched a total of 19 abandoned buildings by the end of the day Thursday. Investigators are expected to cover 80 buildings in the northwest Washington area -- near the apartments of Levy and Condit, who lived about a dozen blocks apart -- before they are through.
Lowell said that Barry Colvert, a 35-year FBI veteran, conducted the polygraph examination. He refused to discuss any other questions Condit was asked, saying they "might be of interest to tabloid journalists" but have no bearing on the case.
"The congressman has done everything he said he would do, has been doing it while taking care of his constituents as Congress is back in session, and has done it under pressure of nonstop media coverage," Lowell said.
'I don't think she would harm herself'
Gainer said it was now unlikely that Washington police would be able to conduct their own polygraph. "I would say at this point it doesn't look like that is going to happen," he said.
Earlier Friday, D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey said his department would distribute computer-generated pictures of Levy designed to show how she would look if she had altered her appearance by changing her hair style or color.
Ramsey offered a broadened view of operational police theories to explain Levy's disappearance: foul play, runaway, lost and suffering amnesia, suicide -- a possibility he had seemed to all but rule out earlier.
The young woman's mother, Susan Levy, said she strongly doubted her daughter would commit suicide or become despondent over the possible breakup of her relationship with Condit.
"I don't think she would harm herself. I have given her the reality of how valued life is," Susan Levy said in a taping for the "America's Most Wanted" television show scheduled to air Saturday night. "I think she could have been saddened, but she would go on because she knew she had a future."
Susan Levy, whose Modesto, California, home is under 24-hour surveillance by local sheriff's deputies, has said it was important for Condit to be forthcoming about what he knows of her daughter during the days before April 30, when she was last reported seen.
"I'm not out to hurt anybody's political causes or anything like that. I am just -- my husband and I -- are just, we're parents who want our daughter home," she said.
Word of a romantic relationship between Levy and the congressman came from Levy's aunt who said the young woman spoke of the affair. Condit has said publicly only that they were "good friends." In his third interview with investigators, however, Condit himself admitted the intimate relationship, according to police sources.
Magazine, Bob Barr urge Condit to resign
Federal prosecutors have at least considered a criminal investigation into whether the congressman obstructed justice by allegedly asking another woman who claimed to be his lover to lie about their relationship.
The woman, flight attendant Anne Marie Smith, said last week Condit asked her to lie to authorities about their alleged affair by signing an affidavit saying they never had a romantic relationship. Condit responded with a statement denying he asked anyone to mislead authorities.
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Georgia, became the first member of Congress to call on Condit to resign, charging his House colleague has "obstructed an ongoing police investigation." Barr also filed an official complaint with the House ethics committee on Friday.
"For all his self-serving lie-detector tests, now and whatever else his lawyer spins in his favor, it will not erase the fact he misled and misled badly the lawful conduct of a police investigation," Barr said.
The conservative Barr was joined by the liberal magazine The New Republic, which declared in an editorial that "Condit's fitness for public office does not depend on the answers" in the Levy case.
"The first, precious days after a disappearance offer police and family members their best chance to find a missing person; after that, the trail usually goes cold," the magazine's editors wrote. "And those early days were partly wasted because Representative Gary Condit cared more about his political career than about the life of a woman he supposedly considered a 'good friend.'"
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Missouri, urged Condit's critics to hold off.
"I think it's inappropriate to draw judgments and make conclusions on what may or may not be the facts," he said. "I think all of that will come in an appropriate time."
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live," Smith said Condit told her in the first days after Levy's disappearance that "he was in trouble, he might have to disappear for a while and not to call him for a few days."
Later, Condit asked her to sign an affidavit denying they had an affair, and she refused on her lawyer's advice. Smith said she only went public because her roommates sold her story to a supermarket tabloid.
"This whole thing is not about me. I had to come forward to set the story straight and to cover the whole affidavit issue," she said. "But the focus should be on Chandra, it's not about me."
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