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Should Condit Face Fourth Inquiry From Authorities?

Aired July 26, 2001 - 12:30   ET


ROGER COSSACK, CO-HOST: Today on BURDEN OF PROOF: Authorities are asking California congressman Gary Condit to meet with them for a fourth time, while the FBI is seeking help from Condit to create a psychological portrait of Chandra Levy.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We do begin with new information this morning on Congressman Gary Condit and the disappearance of Chandra Levy.

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: The FBI and attorneys for California Congressman Gary Condit are trying to work out details for another interview.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Family of Chandra Levy continues to try and keep the pressure on and trying to keep the investigation on the front burner.

SUSAN LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S MOTHER: We are now crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but don't give up and quit.

BILLY MARTIN, LEVY'S ATTORNEY: I don't know what it is that Congressman Condit feels he has to hide, but those are actions that do not show cooperation.

LEVY: My heart is broken. And we are -- our most precious treasure is our child.

FRANKEN: After all this discussion, Chandra Levy has now been missing for more than 12 weeks.


COSSACK: Plus, 16-year-old Molly Bish vanished on June 27, 2000. Today, her family speaks to BURDEN OF PROOF.

ANNOUNCER: This is BURDEN OF PROOF, with Roger Cossack and Greta Van Susteren.

COSSACK: Hello and welcome to BURDEN OF PROOF. An aide to Congressman Gary Condit denies he told a California woman to forget the past or it will ruin you. Joleen Argentini McKay says she also had a relationship with Condit and she told "USA Today" one of Condit's aides warned her to forget it.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CO-HOST: Joining us today to talk about these new developments are here in Washington, criminal defense attorney Bernie Grimm, Lou Hennessey, the former head of the homicide squad for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and former FBI profiler, Clint Van Zandt. And also joining us in Washington is CNN national correspondent Bob Franken.

Bob, what can you tell us about this other woman who apparently had relationship with congressman?

FRANKEN: Well, she is the one that some law enforcement authorities are calling the watch woman, the woman who give Congressman Condit the gift of a watch, according to sources and according to sources, the one whose watch case was discarded by Condit a few hours before his apartment was searched on July 10.

Now "USA Today" has had conversations with her, conversations in which she says that she had been told by the congressman's chief of staff Mike Dayton, his Washington chief of staff, that she should not tell police and FBI investigators that she had the relationship. And there are some who are speculating -- and I underline speculating -- that this has caused people to be concerned whether there was some obstruction of justice and investigators are pursuing that.

Now, I will tell you that Dayton has hired an attorney, an attorney familiar to people who watch BURDEN OF PROOF, Stan Brand, who by the way is a former law partner of Abbe Lowell who's representing Congressman Condit.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bob, obviously at this point, I mean I -- you know, I always pull this out since there's been so much focus on the congressman. This doesn't necessarily mean anything other than that he may have cheated on his wife on still another occasion unrelated to Monica -- I mean unrelated to Chandra Levy.

COSSACK: Calling Dr. Freud.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, right, OK. But let me ask you this, do we know who drove -- apparently, there are some reports -- somebody drove the congressman to Virginia to dump the watch box. Do we have any information as to who that is?

FRANKEN: Well, here's what we're putting together -- and again, this is from sources -- that in fact, Mike Dayton was the one drove him. He lives in this area. And we're told that they were running a variety of errands there. And this is where the story gets puzzling to some, that one of those errands was to get rid of a bag of garbage. And that is what was spotted being disposed of and that is what contained the watchcase, which lead back to Joleen Argentini McKay.

VAN SUSTEREN: Listen, I run lots of errands. It's usually the dry cleaners and the grocery store. I've never, like, traveled about eight miles to get rid of a bag of garbage.

FRANKEN: Well, as a matter of fact... VAN SUSTEREN: Is there more to that?

FRANKEN: Well, what they're saying is that they weren't traveling to just do that, that there were a variety of things that were going on. And one of the reasons was, we're being told by sources that what they wanted to do was to avoid the press. And that they point to the camera crews that are all around the apartment. So, what they're saying is that, as much as possible, they try and stay away from those cameras crews.

COSSACK: Bernie, let's talk about whether or not we're creeping toward obstruction of justice. You know, each -- seems to have a revelation, don't talk to the police. And we have these discussions here on BURDEN OF PROOF and we keep saying it's getting closer and closer. But what about this allegation of the -- of Michael Dayton saying to the woman, you know, "Don't talk to the police."

VAN SUSTEREN: Assuming it happened.

COSSACK: Assuming it happened. I said allegation. Assuming it happened. And you know, don't talk to the police, past will come back to haunt you.

BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If you look at the obstruction statute, it's very broadly worded. It says "any attempt or endeavor to interfere with the administration of justice." Based on these facts, as we know them, and he's clearly presumed innocent, one could give an opening statement on obstruction. I don't know whether a jury would come back with a guilty verdict but you could give an opening statement based on what I know now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lou, detectives often times make recommendations to prosecutors, whether to put something before a grand jury. Are the facts there that you would make a recommendation to pursue an obstruction of justice investigation by a grand jury?

W. LOUIS HENNESSEY, FORMER D.C. METROPOLITAN COMMANDER: Well, I think they've already got a grand jury looking into this. And I'm sure...

VAN SUSTEREN: But is this -- do you think this is enough -- is -- in your mind, as a former detective?

HENNESSEY: Probably not.

VAN SUSTEREN: Really, why?

HENNESSEY: I just don't believe that -- first of all, everything they're getting -- we're getting is second and third hand. And we don't know exactly what his involvement -- Condit's involvement in it was.

VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean, for the aide -- let's just talk about -- I mean let's assume. I mean the assumption is big assumption. We don't -- have no idea whether in fact it happened, that the aide to Congressman Condit told this watch woman or whatever it is that Bob told me she's called -- that she's not to talk.

HENNESSEY: Well, let me just say this, it's not unusual for the police to deal with people who are not totally forthcoming and that they would prefer and they actually approach people about not talking to the police, particularly in serious cases. This is not something that the police aren't confronted with on a daily basis and rarely is anyone ever charged with obstruction of justice unless there's some type of a threat to kill them or prevent them from coming forward to testify.

COSSACK: Bernie, let's -- are we going to start seeing some subpoenas coming out from the grand jury pretty soon, perhaps to Anne Marie Smith, the stewardess who indicated that she was at least allegedly asked to sign something that wasn't true? Now, we have another woman who is allegedly been told by perhaps a representative of the congressman to...

GRIMM: I think you may. The reason you probably haven't subpoenas up until now, that's not to say they haven't been issued. As you know, a grand jury is secret and they could be providing subpoenas for phone records, for apartment leases, for any other types of records that we simply just don't know about at this point.

There's two people on the case now, both experienced prosecutors. I think they haven't issued subpoenas because of what they wanted from people so far. People have complied and come in and spoken to them.


COSSACK: Let's jump in with Bob a second.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just respond to that briefly, about that. The one thing though that I think is still lingering out there and if I were Abbe Lowell then I would do -- is I -- there is no sort of minute by minute chronology of where the congressman was. And even though he's in his office, they must have cameras all over that capital, all over the halls. I bet you could piece together, you know, minute-by-minute where he was. And I think that's -- if Abbe Lowell can do that, he should get that out.


COSSACK: I think it's surprising that it hasn't been done. Bob, let's let you jump in here.

FRANKEN: Well, two things -- one, that's of the reasons that the police want to talk to him again.

One other perspective, if I may, the grand jury's subpoena in Washington does not mean that there is a grand jury investigation of this. As a matter of fact, it continues to be not a criminal investigation. But what I am told by authorities is, in order to issue a subpoena within the District of Columbia, the mechanism -- the routine mechanism is to go to a grand jury. That's the only reason at this point, I'm told, that the grand jury would be involved at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: And getting back to -- let me just -- well, we'll take a break. We'll come right back.

Does Condit know anything about Chandra Levy that no one else does? The FBI will try to find out. Up next, profiling Chandra.


On this day in 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was founded. The Bureau was originally called the Office of the Chief Examiner and then the Bureau of Investigation. It became the FBI in 1935.



VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Gary Condit has agreed, in principle, to help the FBI create a psychological profile of Chandra Levy.

Clint Van Zandt, who did this for a living for a number years with the FBI. The congressman walks in, give me the series of questions you're going to ask them.

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, it's going to be welcome, Congressman, we need to spend some time together and this is going to take a lengthy period of time. You know, I would tell him come fully prepared to spend six hours with me because we've got a lot to go through.

VAN SUSTEREN: Will it just be you or will have colleagues there? And I mean, do you want -- I mean is that over power someone or I mean...

VAN ZANDT: You know, there -- it needs to be the FBI and Metropolitan PD. I don't know who's trying to suggest that the Bureau wants to steal this case or anything else. The FBI is just there to assist the Metropolitan PD. It's their case. And I can't -- you know, the FBI didn't have a criminal violation to begin with. So, they've got no reason to pick it up and run with it.

VAN SUSTEREN: So they don't necessarily have any proprietary, like -- this is a case, we want to solve it and beat out D.C...

VAN ZANDT: I -- you know, tomorrow you've got to work with the D.C. police and a week from now you've got to work with the D.C. police. So, what -- you know, why do like the congressman has done so far and shoot yourself in the foot on this case. I don't think they'll want to do that in this relationship.

COSSACK: All right, and when you're asking questions about putting together this profile of Chandra Levy and you're asking Gary Condit just come in here and help you put together this profile of Chandra Levy so that we'll be in a better position to find her. And you want to know kind of restaurant she goes to, what kind of a person she is, if she's friendly with strangers. But what else are you trying to find out about Gary Condit? VAN ZANDT: Well, there's always a secondary purpose, Roger. I mean for you, for Greta to interview anybody, not only do you get information but you get a feel. If I'm sitting there talking to the congressman and I ask him a question and he closes up, well, that tells me something. If he blades his body sideways, if he breaks eye contact, if he talks very quickly, if he hesitates. If he's able to tell me all about his day, but all of a sudden we get to one or two critical hours and instead of answering in paragraphs, he answers in sentences, that has some significance.

COSSACK: Is this about Gary Condit or is this about Chandra Levy?

VAN ZANDT: Oh no, this is 100 percent about Chandra. But this is a value-added, Roger.


VAN ZANDT: It gives any investigator, any reporter, anyone else, when you talk to someone not only do you get information but you have the ability to assess the person giving you information. The -- you know, they're not trying to bag him. They're trying to develop victimology concerning Miss Levy, about things that only he would know.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I hear -- I see Bernie's head shaking his head.


VAN SUSTEREN: Before we get to that, let my ask this of Clint. Recorded videotape...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... Can you do that? Does that ever happen?

VAN ZANDT: Well, it can happen of course. You know, there's going to be ground rules. You know, it's going to be between the Bureau, the MPD, the attorneys.

VAN SUSTEREN: Would you want to do you that?

VAN ZANDT: Yes, I would. I sure would.



GRIMM: Clint's a profile guy. I'm not going to second guess him. He knows more about mind hunting than I would ever think. However, before we started, I talked to Lou. He's investigated thousands of cases. You don't need to profile the victim. In 99 out of 99 cases, you have a victim. You know his or her patterns. That person, unfortunately, at the time Lou gets involved, is in the ground. If they want to know about Chandra Levy call her parents, call her best friends. Don't call the congressman. He had brief interludes with her.


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, but wait a second. You say more things to your boyfriend than your parents.


GRIMM: Yes...


GRIMM: ... what's going to predominate...


VAN ZANDT: Pillow talk is entirely different than parent talk.

COSSACK: You bet.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think you get both.

VAN ZANDT: What you say -- and of course. We've already talked to the parents. You've talked to the aunt. You've talked to the friends. You say "Congressman, you've known her since October of last year, what restaurants did she like to go to, where did she like to go hiking?" And interestingly enough, she was on a Baskin & Robins site the days she disappeared. Did she like ice cream? Some people go to ice cream when they're depressed. Other people only like to do it when they share it with somebody else.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lou, what's your thought on this?

HENNESSEY: Well, like I said -- like Bernie said, we were talking about it earlier. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the police and the FBI to really feel out Gary Condit. I think that's probably one of the driving motives here, is to really get another opportunity to talk with him in an extended period of time and a somewhat controlled environment and really begin to dissect him psychologically.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I would do if I were his lawyer to sort of, you know, beat you out on that, as detective, is that -- assuming that I could do that -- although, he has no obligation to prove his innocence and he's presumed innocent. And there's been so much focus on him simply from a political standpoint.

Go back to that discussion of the time frame and I would go back and reconstruct every single minute because he's so micromanaged. I mean if you picked up my calendar, you could probably find out what I was doing May 1 and do some follow through. I would lay that out on the table. I would put it -- first, as the defense lawyer and do it behind-the-scenes and make it...

COSSACK: Well, wait. But wait a minute, I thought that we're talking here to find out about our -- about Chandra Levy. (CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, but it's both. Come on. Let's face it. But let's face it, it's both.

VAN ZANDT: It's both but the bottom line is he is going to know things about her that no one else will know. And what they're trying to find out is where might she have been vulnerable.

COSSACK: Lou, are going to let your client go in there and do this?

GRIMM: No, he's been in for three interviews. Under no circumstances would my client walk into the FBI field office.

COSSACK: Even if he's coming in to help them profile here, to help them figure out a profile of the missing person.


VAN ZANDT: He said he would help. He said he's willing to help. Here's his chance.

GRIMM: He's saying it for publicity purposes. He's not going to be reelected.


GRIMM: He's not going to be reelected. He can help. He can talk to them on the phone. You want help; you can talk to me on phone for six hours.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, and here's the reason why you don't let him go in, if you can, you try to do the dance and try to put them off and delay it as much as you can.

We know a couple of things -- one, he's a liar. And as a lawyer, you know you now got a client on your hands that lies no matter how much he says this time, I'm going to be straight, you will go in there and the perspiration is dripping down your head as your client is sitting there answering questions even though this time, he says I'm telling truth this time, you know, number four. The other problem that you have is that you never say the same thing -- a 100 percent innocent, you never say the same thing the same way four times.

COSSACK: So you're willing to burn him off? You're willing to say, you know what fellows, my political career is over, the end of the ball game. I now have to figure that somewhere along the line I may be a suspect. I'm done talking to police.

GRIMM: Could he get anymore unpopular with the public? What if he says no? People won't like him. People won't respect him.

VAN ZANDT: If he's charged with a crime, he might get a little bit more unpopular with the public than he is right now. But that's not the issue. (CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Should he talk to you?


GRIMM: If he goes in and talks like...

VAN ZANDT: I mean he said he would. He said...


VAN ZANDT: ... I am willing...

VAN SUSTEREN: Come on, Clint, not that he said he would. If you were his lawyer...

VAN ZANDT: I'm not a lawyer. I'm a former FBI agent. I don't want to advise him of his rights. I want to get information from him.

VAN SUSTEREN: but you know more about this than the rest of us. If you were his lawyer -- lawyering is simple -- you could be a -- you know, when you tell him to come in and talk to you.


VAN ZANDT: His lawyer would have coached him. He would have coached him on body language.


VAN ZANDT: He would have said be careful of those guys. They're looking to sandbag you. Just the facts...

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes or no.

VAN ZANDT: ... Jack when you get in there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes or no, should he go in and talk to you.

VAN ZANDT: AS an FBI agent, absolutely he should, Greta. He should be there.


VAN ZANDT: As a citizen, I think he should be there. As officer of the government, he should obviously be there.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me give you one more job.


VAN SUSTEREN: As a defense lawyer, should he go in and talk to you?

(CROSSTALK) COSSACK: Well, no. He's not a defense lawyer.


VAN SUSTEREN: Sure, he can.


COSSACK: I'm not going to let him answer as a defense lawyer.

VAN ZANDT: And don't let her put me on the other side, Roger.

COSSACK: All right, talk about body language.

VAN ZANDT: Look at that. See, she's all of a sudden -- what does that say Greta's telling us?

COSSACK: When we come back, Missing In America. But first, some good news coming from Connecticut. Last week, BURDEN OF PROOF profiled 16-year-old Crystal Horrocks. The Connecticut girl disappeared in New York City four weeks ago. Well, good news, New York police turned her over to her grandparents last night. Now, the family won't discuss what happened to Crystal, saying only that they're happy to have her home again. But up next, another tragedy, in Massachusetts this time, a young lifeguard disappears from a pond near her home. Well, her parents will join us when we return.


COSSACK: Welcome back, today's missing person profile focuses on 16-year-old Molly Bish. Now, she was a lifeguard at a secluded pond near Warren, Massachusetts. And on June 27 last year, she disappeared. Her parents, John and Maggie Bish join us from Boston.

Welcome, John and Maggie.

Maggie, tell us about your daughter and tell us when was the last time you saw her.

MAGDALEN BISH, MOTHER OF MOLLY BISH: OK, Molly was the youngest of my three children. She's a very lively, happy, popular 16-year- old. We call her our Tigger Girl. She's fun loving young lady, had a very good year. She was on the honor roll. She played three sports, very athletic.

This was her eighth day of work. She had just gotten this job as a lifeguard. She was very excited. It was pretty important. She had worked hard all winter to get her certificate. So, this was her eighth day. I had driven her -- driven with her. She drove because she was 16. I dropped her off at the pond. Prior to that, we had gotten some water and picked up the police radio. She said good-bye to me.

And the day prior, we had seen an individual, a man sitting in the parking lot. So, I was somewhat concerned. We had talked about that at night -- the night before. Did she have any concerns? So, I stayed in the parking lot to be sure that there were no vehicles. They were actually dumping some sand that morning because it was second day of swimming lessons. And she was very excited that there was sand.

So I -- as she jumped out and said good-bye to me, I love you, Mom, I kind of stayed and watched for this truck to leave because I wanted to be sure there was no vehicles or anybody in the parking lot. And that was the last time I've seen her.

VAN SUSTEREN: John, as a -- usually as a lifeguard, there are a number of people around swimming. Were there any people there that saw her or saw -- you know, were there any reports beyond her mother's report of last seeing her?

JOHN BISH, FATHER OF MOLLY BISH: Well, that's one of the difficulties that the state police are struggling with. We have no witnesses to what may have happened to Molly on that morning.

We know that the time window that we're talking about is perhaps less than 10 minutes. The first arrivals to the pond came to the beach approximately around 10:15 and they noted that she was not at her post. The lifeguard equipment and her personal possessions were for the most part undisturbed and there was no physical evidence of a struggle that we, at this time, have evidence of. And of course, it is difficult to establishing a relationship between Molly and anyone who might have placed her in peril.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were there any -- I mean, have we had any tips, John? I mean any spottings or any sort of sense to have any hope that you can find her?

J. BISH: There's been a great deal of information and leads and tips provided to the state police. However, they still need that one piece of information now to bring the investigation together. We have -- we've received probably over 2,000 tips in the past 13 months. The state police in Massachusetts have been relentless in their effort. And we are hopeful that we will find Molly and we won't find a person who placed her in peril. And we believe that there is someone out there who has that one piece of information that's necessary to help the state police find out what happened to her.

COSSACK: Molly, is there any more...

VAN SUSTEREN: No, it's Maggie.

COSSACK: I'm sorry. Maggie, is there any more information regarding Molly and regarding that individual who you saw the day before?

M. BISH: Well, I know that the day before when I had seen this individual in the parking lot, I don't know if you heard but we had composite that we had put together through a computer through the state police. And at Christmas time, when it was six months into this, unfortunately, too many people said that he looked too much like too many people, like their uncle or somebody they had seen. And I felt we needed a better picture then. And we actually had called Jean Boylan, who did the Unabomber. And she came in and drew another better drawing of this individual. And we have had -- since, had that posted on the Missing and Exploited Children's poster and the state police poster. So we have had, again, more calls.

We've asked this individual to come forward if he could just help that way we could eliminate him if he had nothing to do with it. But up to this point, it will be 13 months tomorrow and he hasn't come forward. So, we continue to want to speak with him. And as John said, there's over 4,000 -- close to 5,000 pieces of information that the state police are sorting through. It's just -- we are missing that one part of this whole investigation to put it at a close, to see where Molly is. Somebody needed to see her. Somebody had to see something or this other individual.

COSSACK: Have you been satisfied with what the police have done in searching for your daughter?

M. BISH: I think one thing -- we are extremely grateful. Once they took it very serious -- initially, they thought Molly may have went off with her friends. And one thing we've watched and learned from many other people who have missing family, missing women and children is that, at first, you may have thought they ran away or they took off on their own. And sometimes those critical first three hours are missed. They have actually said that in the first 48 hours, it is extremely critical that your -- statistically, your chances of survival and finding someone is very low. So you know, we -- since the -- I think they called maybe like -- really began seriously looking maybe at 1:30 that afternoon. And from that moment, they have been relentless, as John has said.

And you know, we feel the district attorney has been extreme supportive. They have made a commitment to us. There's been several searches. And we may do another search this summer.

VAN SUSTEREN: And we hope -- and of course, we hope that promoting this on the show that people see the picture and they would call in with some information.

M. BISH: Thank you. You have that -- thank you so much.

COSSACK: All right. I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Thanks to our guests and thank you for watching.

VAN SUSTEREN: Join us again tomorrow for another edition of BURDEN OF PROOF. We'll see you then.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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