CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Dick Cheney, Billy Martin, Charles Ramsey
Aired May 22, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, one-on-one with Vice President Dick Cheney, blasting 9/11 critics and warning of terror attacks to come.
Then, Chandra Levy is dead, her remains found in a Washington, D.C. park. But the case isn't closed yet. In his first interview since the sad news broke, attorney for the Levy family, Billy Martin. With the latest on the investigation into her death, Chief Charles Ramsey of the D.C. Metropolitan Police.
California Congressman Gary Condit has been a key figure in this high-profile mystery. Attorney Mark Geragos represents the Condit family. We'll have his first interview since today's grim discovery. Plus, world famous forensic expert, Dr. Henry Lee. What secrets may Chandra's bones reveal about her death? All that and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We're at the Dwight David Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building in Washington with the vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney.
Can you give us an update, Mr. Vice President, on what's going on in New York?
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there's a continuing level of concern, obviously, about the threat. We now have a large number of people in custody, detainees, and periodically as we go through this process we learn more about the possibility of future attacks. And based on that kind of reporting, we try to be very cautious and alert people when we think there's a reason to be concerned about a particular subject or target.
It's not the kind of thing where somebody came in and said, "Hey, the Brooklyn Bridge is going to get hit tomorrow," it's never that detailed. It's more a matter of being concerned that there has been some planning activity in the past by the organization and therefore a need to ratchet up the level of security on that particular installation.
KING: That's why we're still on yellow alert?
CHENEY: Yes. I mean, yellow's...
CHENEY: It's serious. This is not normal peacetime kind of situation.
The fact of the matter is, the more we learn, the more convinced we become about how extensive the network is, that there is a global network, that even after you destroy and disrupt their base of operations in Afghanistan they've still got cells all over the world, any one of which is capable of moving forward and carrying out an operation.
KING: When you said the other day they will strike again, not if, they will...
CHENEY: ... just a matter of time.
KING: ... what do people do with that, what do we do knowing that? Do we walk down the street backwards and look behind us?
KING: What do you do?
CHENEY: Be vigilant. You know, be sensitive to the possibility. Obviously some parts of the country are far more likely targets than others. Be aware of the alert system. When we do put out alerts, those are the ones, obviously, that you want to pay attention to.
But in the end what we have to do is go eliminate the terrorists. We can play defense all day long and do everything we can to protect ourselves from another attack, but in the end, in the final analysis, sooner or later somebody's likely to get through. We've seen the Israeli experience.
KING: You just play defense, someone's going to score.
CHENEY: That's right. And what you have to do is also go on offense. We've got to go eliminate the terrorists, and that obviously is the major part of the effort that's under way now, but it takes time.
KING: What about those who say you're doing all this now because of the criticism of the memo not paid attention to previously?
CHENEY: Well, in this work, Larry, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing. The fact is there is reason to believe that the threat level has increased somewhat. We see more noise in the system, more reporting that leads us to be cautious here. We haven't changed our practices at all in terms of when we decide to go public and caution people.
KING: No change at all?
CHENEY: No change.
KING: So this would have happened had nothing happened.
CHENEY: If nothing had happened. If there had not been the totally irresponsible charges last week, that wouldn't have affected any of this anyway.
KING: You have come out against an independent investigation of all that. Today Senator McCain came out in favor of one; so did conservative George Will. What's wrong with independent people like George Shultz, Daniel Moynihan, as suggested, I think, by Will, looking into it?
CHENEY: Well, there's going to be an independent investigation. It's already under way, being carried out by the oversight committees in the House and Senate, the House Intelligence and Senate Intelligence Committees, bipartisan, one chaired by a Democrat, Bob Graham from Florida, one by a Republican, Porter Goss. And we already provided over 200,000 pages of documents to those committees. We've got 39 members of Congress who are being read into these programs and going to oversee this investigation. We've got 184 people that have already been interviewed. That effort's been under way.
Our concern is that if we now lay another investigation on top of that we'll just multiply potential sources of leaks and disclosures of information we can't disclose. The key to our ability to defend ourselves and to take out the terrorists lies on intelligence. And we're discussing such things as the president's daily brief, which is the most sensitive product, if you will, of the intelligence community, it comes from our most sensitive and secret sources. If there are leaks from that document, if it's disclosed to people that it shouldn't be disclosed to, we will lose the capacity to defend ourselves against future attacks.
And so what we're trying to do is make sure that have a good investigation, we're for that, there are a lot of lessons we'd like to learn as well, too, but there's already a good one under way by the Congress, which has the statutory and constitutional responsibility to do it. If we now start adding a commission, nobody's going to come back and shut down this one. There's not going to be just one, there'll be several, and we can't afford to have several.
KING: Why, Mr. Vice President, have you been critical of critics? We've already had critics in America. Johnson was criticized in Vietnam. Clinton was criticized in Bosnia. Roosevelt was criticized over Pearl Harbor. What's wrong with voicing a criticism?
CHENEY: Criticism's fine, Larry, but when members of Congress suggest that the president of the United States had foreknowledge of the attack on September 11, I think that's outrageous. That's beyond the pail (ph). Somebody needs to say that ain't criticism, that's a gross, outrageous political attack and it's totally uncalled for, unjustified. The facts don't support it. And somebody needs to have to say that.
I feel very strongly about it. Perfectly prepared to have a debate; we do that all the time.
But that kind of assault, implication that somehow we had prior knowledge and didn't act on it, I think, was an abysmal statement.
KING: Is there a problem vis-a-vis FBI, CIA, investigative community -- in other words, that they don't interlock, the channels don't reach each other, that there's rivalry?
CHENEY: There has been in the past, without question. I used to sit on the Intelligence Committee. We always were frustrated by trying to get the FBI that came before us with some of their functions, the CIA that came before us as well, to work together. They didn't do it very well. It has been improved in recent years but, clearly, not enough.
Since September 11, we do a much more aggressive job of getting them together. We start every morning in the Oval Office. The president and I sit down with the director of the FBI and the director of the CIA, and they have to come and report to us every morning on what we've got out there...
CHENEY: ... by way of threats -- together. And they're doing a much better job of linking together than before.
Partly here, before we can go out and sort of point the finger of blame and try to indict somebody for malfeasance prior to September 11, the FBI is now being asked to do something they didn't used to do. They were set up as a law enforcement agency. They were the guys who went in after the crime and found out who did it. Now we asking them to perform a very different role, which is to make sure the crime never occurs, to find the guys -- the perpetrators who might have violated the law and, working with our intelligence sources overseas, head off these attacks before they can occur. It's a whole different way of looking at the world.
KING: Is that agent in Arizona prophetic?
CHENEY: Well, I think he was.
KING: So, did that get overlooked, or was it too -- somebody said it would have been too cumbersome to do.
CHENEY: Well, it's -- first of all, there are, what, I think 56 field offices out there, thousands of agents writing hundreds of reports in a week. So and that volume of stuff has to be collected and generated and analyzed to reach back now after the fact and say, aha, this guy fingered Middle Easterners in flight schools. You know, it was after the fact.
We had a situation in the Gulf War. We went up just before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and we had all these troops out there, and everybody said he'll never invade. All the experts in the region, all the government leaders out there, they all said he's never going to invade. Well, they invaded. He took Kuwait.
Afterwards, we found a guy down in the bowels of the DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, who had written a memo saying, "He is going to invade." You know, but it didn't do you any good at the time, because how do you decide you're going to go with the one guy who's saying he will when everybody else says, you know, he won't.
KING: So you're in a no-win?
CHENEY: Well, you've got to recognize what's reasonable in terms of before-the-fact analysis and proper conclusions and having the system work and what's a Monday-morning quarterback.
But it's also important to recognize there were problems, there's no question about it. I'll be the last to argue the system worked perfectly. There's a lot we can do to improve it, and we need to know the answers to those questions the cooperating asking. We're cooperating with that.
KING: We'll be right back with Vice President Dick Cheney after this.
KING: We're back with Vice President Cheney.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein says she contacted your office last July to urge a restructure of U.S. counterterrorism in the homeland defense. According to her, "Despite repeated efforts by myself and the staff, the White House didn't address my request."
CHENEY: Oh, I disagree with Dianne. She had a proposal; a lot of other people did too.
What was happening last summer was that we had a review under way. The president directed me to sit down and look at the reports. I think it was five different commissions that had studied this problem of how we organize for homeland security.
She had one proposal. There were a dozen proposals probably all together, when you take all the congressional ideas as well. She did contact my office. She talked with one of my staff people, who informed her of the ongoing effort, that the administration wasn't yet ready to take a position on how we ought to organize for homeland defense but we had an active effort under way, which we did, which is what led directly September 20, when the president went up and made his speech just nine days after the attack, to the appointment of Governor Ridge, who's the head of homeland security and the subsequent operations that have taken place, that that all came out of that early work.
We appreciated having her suggestion, but she wasn't the only one with ideas about organizing to deal with that problem.
KING: Governor Ridge's role, should it be Cabinet-level?
CHENEY: That's, you know, a debate that will continue to rage. His role right now is as the homeland security adviser to the president. As an adviser he should not be confirmed by the Senate. He's like Condi Rice, the national security adviser. The president needs to have some people around him that report directly to him and don't go to Congress.
KING: Do advisers have clout?
CHENEY: Yes. They've got access to the president, and that's the ultimate clout.
KING: On the debate, where do you stand?
CHENEY: Well, I think we've got it organized about right with Tom Ridge at present. We are looking at other options and possibilities. We've got a major effort under way. Tom's doing a review of all of this. We could conceivably end up with everything from a Cabinet-level department or a new agency, an agency in the executive office of the president, or an arrangement similar to what we have now. Everything's on the table, at this point.
KING: Security problems are not going to go away?
CHENEY: Absolutely not. This will be with us for a long time.
KING: On other fronts -- the hunt for Osama bin Laden, where are we?
CHENEY: It continues. A lot of speculation about where he is if he's dead, buried in one of those tunnels of caves in Afghanistan. We haven't heard anything from him for a considerable period of time now.
KING: That tape recently was not...
CHENEY: Well, I haven't seen the recent one, but all of the ones that have come out in the last few months are all of the kind that were probably recorded before December.
KING: The president's in Europe, where there's a lot of angry people. What's this trip going to do?
CHENEY: It's a very important trip. It's sort of the culmination of a year and a half's work with the Russians. He has developed a very good relationship with President Putin. They're going to sign an agreement -- it will be a treaty, in effect -- that will further limit offensive nuclear arms as well as do a number of other things.
The relationship with Russia, I think, is probably in better shape than it's ever been, certainly in my lifetime.
And there is -- will also be work done to give Russia a new role at NATO, not a veto by any means, but to give them an active participation in the NATO alliance, which will make it easier this year, later this year, to expand NATO membership to some of those Eastern European countries that used to be part of the old Soviet Union.
We're tying together, if you will, Russia into Europe and into the West, participation in the NATO alliance which will make it easier this year -- later this year -- to expand NATO membership to some of those eastern European countries that used to be part of the old Soviet Union. We're tying together, if you will, Russia into Europe and into the West. And it's good for Russia; it's good for the United States. A very significant trip in that regard.
KING: What do you make of the protests?
CHENEY: Protest to protect. I mean, that's the strength of our democracy. People can take to the streets and agree, disagree, demonstrate. As long as they're peaceful, I think it's a sign of a healthy society.
KING: Do you get nervous or have anxiety when the president is away?
CHENEY: No, I really don't.
KING: You don't think about it?
CHENEY: You're aware of it, of course. We consciously avoid a situation in which we're both gone from the country -- out of the country at the same time. But the government continues to function and he and I are in touch frequently when he's traveling or I'm traveling. We've got this secure video conference system so we can have a meeting of the National Security Council if that's required. Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Andy Card are all with him. I'm back here. Donald Rumsfeld's here, George Tenet's here. So the government continues to function. You don't...
KING: ... but you don't personally...
KING: You know, something could happen and...
CHENEY: No, I don't -- you can't think about that. We have jobs to do and he's doing his job and I'm doing mine and I think it's working reasonably well. And in traveling to the far corners of the globe, that's something you've got to do in the modern presidency.
KING: The question of Cuba, China doesn't have elections and has political prisoners. Why do we talk to them and not to the other?
CHENEY: Well, the sense that I have is that China's made significant progress. If you go back to where China was 25 to 30 years ago, it was a very authoritarian/totalitarian society. Outsiders weren't welcomed and totally isolated from the outside world. Under Deng Xiaoping and subsequent to that time there's been a major opening up. Americans have been invited in. It's not perfect by any means. They don't run their society the way we'd like. They still have a Communist Party that's still in charge. They don't have free elections. So we talk to them about those issues.
But if you were to look at China today, you'd have to say this is a nation who's fairly dramatically has opened up. You don't see any of that in Cuba. Cuba's, you know, where it was in 1959 when Fidel took over. Cuba also, of course, at one time, Fidel Castro, back during the Cold War did a lot to try to subvert other regimes in the hemisphere. Che Guevara was killed trying to bound a revolution in Bolivia. They had a lot to do with the turmoil and operations in Central America.
KING: There is a distinct difference here.
CHENEY: A distinct difference to try to base missiles in Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis.
KING: Two other quick things: Any light at the end of the Mideast conflict?
CHENEY: Boy, that's a risky prediction, given that part of the world and their problem, but we are making progress. Things are better now than they were a couple of months ago. The Saudis have stepped up and I think in an important response to fashion. You've got the Egyptians and the Jordanians who are working with the Saudis. There's widespread agreement now that we need to form the Palestinian side. Even Arafat has spoken to that, and the people who have suffered more than anybody else through this whole enterprise obviously I think are probably the Palestinian people. And the ultimate hope of a peaceful resolution of the conflict and a Palestinian state that is not a threat to Israel is going to be difficult to achieve and we need to keep working at it.
KING: And finally, India, Pakistan. Worried?
CHENEY: Yes. Two nations and both nuclear armed, sort of poised across the border there, a history of conflict and warfare, ongoing tensions over Kashmir and we're very actively engaged in trying to keep the lid on there. Secretary Powell has spent a lot of time on the way to a meeting on it just this week. So it's an important part of the world, a dangerous part of the world.
KING: Thank you, Dick.
CHENEY: Thanks, Larry. Great to see you.
KING: Good seeing you. Healthy?
CHENEY: Yes, sir.
KING: Next on LARRY KING LIVE, Billy Martin, the attorney for the Levy family, his first interview since the tragic news. And then we'll talk with Chief Charles Ramsey of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police. It's all ahead. Don't go away.
KING: We now know that Chandra Levy is dead. Joining us from Ft. Lauderdale, the attorney for the Levy family, Billy Martin. How were you told, Billy?
BILLY MARTIN, LEVY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Larry, I got a call this morning just before noon from Deputy Chief Gainer to tell me that they had found the remains of -- skeletal remains in Rock Creek Park, and he kept me updated throughout the afternoon up to the point where they were able to identify Chandra Levy. So I heard directly from the chief and the deputy chief. And I told the family and the chief spoke to the family after speaking with me.
KING: What did they say?
MARTIN: Larry, there's a lawyer in Modesto, California, George Arata, you may have seen him outside the home today. George Arata and Andy Levy, his associate, they've been lawyers for the Levys for years. They're the lawyers who contacted me about a year ago. And they asked me to assist them.
When Chief Gainer called me this morning, I called George to tell him that I could hear from something in the chief's voice that this might be ongoing, and George went over to the Levy home this morning and he sat there. He's been there all day. He went there roughly 8:30 or 9:00 this morning Pacific time, and he's been with Sue Levy all day. It was...
KING: Did you subsequently talk...
MARTIN: I'm sorry, Larry.
KING: George was the one that told them, but did you subsequently speak to them?
MARTIN: Absolutely. I spoke with both Dr. Levy this morning. I spoke with him throughout the day. And I spoke with Mrs. Levy right after the remains were confirmed to be those of Chandra. She's devastated, Larry, you can imagine. She's a mother who is very close to her daughter. The family is very close. She's devastated.
KING: And the doctor?
MARTIN: The doctor himself, you know, the two of them -- and the world and the country has had a chance to see them and see the pain. You can read the pain on their face. By just watching them sometime makes one feel a lot of the pain that they're bearing. They're in a very bad place right now.
KING: Now, legally, Billy, this is now a death investigation, right? This can't be called murder yet. It's just we don't know the cause.
MARTIN: Larry, that's correct. It's a death investigation. We're hopeful that they're able to develop -- elevate this to homicide, but I'm convinced and I've been convinced throughout that the D.C. police, while they may not have done a perfect job, there's no such thing as a perfect crime nor a perfect investigation.
We want to thank Chief Ramsey and Chief Gainer for the effort they've put into this. We're convinced that they're going to turn this now into a full blown death/homicide investigation. And we're convinced and we're hopeful that we're going to find the person or persons who did this to Chandra and I'm sure D.C. police want to know the answers. KING: Billy, why are you so convinced it was foul play? I know she was so young. You could be running and have a heart attack, couldn't you?
MARTIN: Larry, you could, but it's doubtful from where the body was found, from where the remains were found. And we have very good reason to believe that the remains may have even been partially concealed in that area. Larry, we still keep open that all of those possibilities exist. We don't think so. And we're hopeful that we'll be able to prove what happened to Chandra and who did it.
KING: In your mind, I know you've been very critical of Mr. Condit, is he still involved in your opinion? It would just be opinion at this point, of course?
MARTIN: Larry, absolutely. And I've said all along that we do not have evidence to accuse Gary Condit, Congressman Gary Condit, of Chandra's disappearance and now her death. But we do have reason to believe that he knew a lot more about Chandra, her state of mind, what was going on in her life on April 30 or May 1. Had he come forward sooner, Larry, the investigation would have been, we think, sped along. Is he a suspect in our mind? He is a suspect as is everybody else who may have had contact with Chandra. Nobody is now eliminated.
KING: Billy, is the family coming to the District of Columbia? Do you know?
MARTIN: We're making those plans now, Larry. I think the right -- since learning of Chandra's death, the only thing I can speak to Dr. Levy and Mrs. Levy about was them, how they're doing, make sure that they're OK, understanding the feelings when a parent loses a child.
We're making plans and I'm sure that at some point, they will return to Washington. I can't tell you when that is. Most important, we want to plan some type of memorial service. We hope that the spirit of Chandra and the love that her family has will help them. But right now, our focus is just on memorial service and laying those remains to rest.
KING: And any time for the release of those remains? That will take a while, right, with autopsies and investigation? You're not going to get that right away.
MARTIN: That will take a while, Larry.
KING: Billy, thanks, as always. Look forward to seeing you soon.
MARTIN: Larry, thank you.
KING: And, again, this has been trying times, and we appreciate all your help.
MARTIN: Thank you.
KING: Billy Martin, the attorney for the Levy family.
Next is Chief Charles Ramsey of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, who did an outstanding job of keeping the public informed all day today.
Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Liza Minnelli and her husband, David Gest, and an exclusive. She'll not only will be singing, we're going to show you films of the wedding never seen before. We'll be right back.
KING: We're now joined by Chief Charles Ramsey of the D.C. Metropolitan Police. Thanks for coming, Chief. The discovery was made by a dog?
CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: Well, actually, it was a man walking his dog. He was searching for turtles, of all things, in Rock Creek Park. And the dog alerted to something first. And as he went to investigate and he moved leaves around, he saw what he thought was a human skull and, in fact, turned out the be a human skull.
KING: What told you the possibility that this was Chandra?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, Rock Creek Park certainly would pique our interest because that was one of the sights that we know she visited on May 1. And once the search actually began and we began to recover items, it kind of got a little more certain as time went on that this was a very strong possibility that it could be her.
KING: Did you talk to the Levys through the day or only when it was known it was her?
RAMSEY: No, I talked to them twice. Actually, when we first got up there and found out that it was a possibility that it could be her. I didn't want the family getting blindsided hearing it on the news. So I called them, spoke with them and let them know exactly what it was we had. I called them back again to let them know that we hadn't found anything more, but we were still working it. And then I called them the third time once it was confirmed.
KING: How do you do a call like that?
RAMSEY: Well, it's difficult, but I've met them several times. It was just about three weeks ago, I guess, they were actually in my office when they were here for their vigil, very decent people. Billy Martin, we've worked with and talked to throughout. This has been a long investigation, over a year. So you do develop some relationships.
KING: Do you agree with Mr. Martin that based on the sketchy circumstances as we know them now, the doubt that this is accidental?
RAMSEY: Well, it's too soon to say. It's going to really take a forensic pathologist to really tell us exactly the manner and cause of death. We did get the skeletal remains. They were able to confirm it was Chandra Levy through dental records. But now a lot of work still has to be done to determine exactly what happened to her.
KING: This could be weeks, months?
RAMSEY: Well, I don't know if it's going to be that long. I hope it's not that long. But again, they can do some pretty amazing things with very little to go on. Now that we have a body, we have clothing, we have an actual scene. We do have some additional tips and clues.
KING: Did not the police look in that area of Rock Creek Park last summer?
RAMSEY: Actually, we did. The Rock Creek Park is 1,700 acres and it's an urban forest. So it's not when you say park, people tend to think of flat ground without any trees.
KING: Kind of like Central Park.
RAMSEY: Exactly. It is really very rugged terrain. This was off the beaten path. It was on a very steep incline. In fact, the remains were covered with probably about a foot of underbrush and leaves and very, very difficult.
KING: Do you ever get used to this?
RAMSEY: Well, you never get used to it. I've been in policing a long time and you never really get used to it. You don't get used to it because of the impact it has on families. And that's the toughest part of the job is when you see the survivors that have to cope with this, the family is very difficult.
KING: Do you tell from the conditions as you saw them, whether she died there or was brought to there?
RAMSEY: Can't really tell, and I didn't go to the actual scene itself. I stayed away because I didn't want to contaminate the scene. Only our mobile crime detectives and others were there that needed to be at the scene. But my understanding is at this point, it's very difficult to tell whether or not that's a primary or secondary scene and it's going to require some more searching. It's night now. So we have the area sealed off and we'll resume searching in the morning.
KING: And you're searching for anything?
RAMSEY: Anything, evidence, more of the remains, anything that may give us a clue as to what took place.
KING: How many people are missing in Washington, D.C.?
RAMSEY: Well, we did a run in fact today just to find out what the most recent count was. My understanding is since 1980, there are 232 adults that are not accounted for and about 100 juveniles. Now, mostly the juveniles are runaways and most of the adults, I would imagine, just don't want to be found. That's not uncommon. But there are hundreds of thousands of people that go missing in the United States annually. KING: A lot of unsolved murders, too?
RAMSEY: Well, there -- yes, unfortunately...
KING: You worked homicide in Chicago.
RAMSEY: Yes. Unfortunately, there are unsolved murders. And hopefully, this isn't something that we aren't able to get the answers to. We don't know yet whether or not we have a murder. We definitely have a death investigation. And you handle that like you would a homicide until the facts tell you otherwise.
KING: You said that Gary Condit was not a suspect. Does that mean that he's removed from any possibility or just not a suspect at the time you were investigating?
RAMSEY: Well, it doesn't mean anybody's removed. Unfortunately, the focus has been on Mr. Condit because of his position. But we've actually interviewed more than 100 people and we'll continue to do interviews. And this is going to open up the door for more canvassing now that we found remains.
KING: Could there be a mad person loose?
RAMSEY: Well, anything is possible. All cards are on the table. But right now, until there's manner and cause of death that's been determined, we just don't know what happened. So I don't want to speculate on that. But, obviously, we're going to explore every possible angle.
KING: Thanks, Chief. Did a great job.
RAMSEY: Thank you, sir.
KING: Chief Charles Ramsey.
When we come back, the attorney for Mr. Condit, Mark Geragos, will join us. Don't go away.
KING: Mark Geragos joins us now from Los Angeles, the attorney for the Condit family. Have you spoken to Gary or anyone in the family?
MARK GERAGOS, CONDIT FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes. I've talked with Gary, Caroline, Katie, Chad, virtually throughout the day today.
KING: And what have they had to say?
GERAGOS: They've been, obviously, I think, upset, devastated. I mean, you know, it's in a weird way, you almost, from their standpoint, they've always had this kind of hope that she was alive and that she'd return some time and all would be well.
You almost buy into those crazy Dominick Dunne theories that you heard about her being captured somewhere and still alive and blah, blah, blah. When you get the news, you can never really accept it. It is shocking. They're all very upset. They're praying for the Levy family and their hearts go out to them. What can you say about a parent that loses a child? I've got a daughter myself. It is something you never get over. I mean, every person I've ever known, just an awful experience.
KING: Do you know if they plan to contact the Levys?
GERAGOS: Well, I think it's too early. Everybody's still in shock. I'll reach out, if they want that, that's fine. I mean, if Billy would like that, that's fine as well. I mean, it's obvious to me at least that at this point, they need to heal and go through that kind of metamorphosis, if you will, or the catharsis of mourning the loss of their daughter.
KING: You don't have any doubts that your client was somehow involved?
GERAGOS: I have no doubts. I mean, from my standpoint when I talked to him today I was trying to encourage him to at least talk about the fact that this was a hopeful and positive thing from his own standpoint, that now they'll be able to completely exonerate him. That wasn't a concern of Gary's at all. From Gary's standpoint and Caroline's and Katie and Chad, it was at least their hearts going out and talking about the Levys and the amount of sadness that they felt for the Levy family.
KING: What effect, Mark, does this have to your knowledge on the grand jury investigation?
GERAGOS: Well, I think at this point, I thought it was interesting. My understanding of who is really running this investigation is that it's the U.S. attorney's office and they've got a couple of crackerjack assistants who are running it. And they've got the FBI involved.
I'm somewhat surprised that the D.C. Police appear to still be involved because from all the dealings that I've had, it's been pretty much run at this point by the U.S. attorney's office and by the federal authorities.
KING: What do you make of how the D.C. Police acquitted themselves today?
GERAGOS: Well, I think today was a difficult day for them. Obviously, given some of the initial information, they had been in this area, they've been in this park before. This apparently is on a jogging trail that is, if you will, if you scout out between Chandra's house and this mansion that was found or was located on her Website, that this was apparently on a direct line or at least arguably a direct line along that path.
And so I think it's been very difficult for the D.C. Police. Because I'm sure that there's going to be a lot of second guessing as to whether or not they could have done something earlier and whether or not they missed a lot of things. I think today they're trying to do the best they can with a bad situation.
KING: Is the best guess foul play?
GERAGOS: Well, I think that most people would assume that if you've got a young woman who appears to be physically fit with no real health problems, that that's an assumption. Then again, you hear about the steep incline and other things. It would just be guesswork on my part.
At least from the Levys' standpoint, they're going to want to get through the various stages of grieving for their child. Then they're going to want to know what happened. And I think everybody else in the nation is captivated by it, obviously, by the amount of press interest. They're going to want to know what happened. And everybody is going to want to get to the bottom of it.
I think one of the interesting things is in talking with Gary about a month or a month and a half ago, my investigators at least had suggested that if this was the work of a serial killer, that based upon the other two young ladies that were found, that you might find that Chandra would turn up some time in May. It is ironic at least that that's exactly what happened.
KING: You mean your investigator said that to you?
GERAGOS: Yes. I told that to Chad and to Gary when we were in D.C., that that had been suggested to me that if its the work of a serial killer, and if this was linked through Joyce Chang and the other young Armenian young lady who were found there, that it is in all likelihood that she'd turn up sometime in May.
KING: What do they base that on?
GERAGOS: Based upon the prior findings of the other women who have disappeared. Both Joyce Chang and the other female.
KING: Do you know what Gary will do after the Congress session ends and he's no longer in that body?
GERAGOS: I've talked to him about it. You know he's told me everything from white collar jobs to blue collar jobs. If he's going to continue paying my fees, I'm going to try to move him into the white collar jobs. But he's got a whole host of opportunities. He'll do something.
He's been in public service for 30 years. I don't really think he's thinking about it. He's been preoccupied for the past couple of months with what's happened to Chandra, asking me what my investigators have turned up and things of that nature. That's been the focus of it. I think now he's going to want to know and do anything he can to help try and help out in terms of this investigation, but I don't think he's given a whole lot of thought to what he's going to do once he is out of Congress. He's still got at least six more months before the end of the term.
KING: You are saying he and the family are deeply saddened tonight.
GERAGOS: I think that's an understatement. I really do. Katie, I've talked to her. You know her from the times you've interviewed her. Devastated. Chad the same way. Caroline, when I talked to her this morning early on, when there first was a suggestion that it was Chandra, was extremely upset. Gary I talked to numerous times today, as well as the staff. Everyone surrounding that organization is deeply, deeply moved by it.
KING: Mark Geragos will remain with us. And when we come back we'll be joined by the famed, world renowned forensic expert, Dr. Henry Lee and the former prosecutor now with Court TV Nancy Grace. This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't forget tomorrow Liza Minnelli and David Gest, her husband, for the first time ever on television, films of the wedding. And she'll be singing, too. We will be right back.
KING: Mark Geragos, the attorney for the Condit family, remains with us in Los Angeles. Joining us in New Haven is Dr. Henry Lee, the world renowned forensic expert, Chief Emeritus of scientific services, former commissioner of public safety for the state of Connecticut, and author of the book "Cracking Cases, The Science Of Solving Crimes."
And in New York, Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor and anchor for "Trial Heat" on Court TV.
Dr. Lee, let's get right to it. Can you find the cause of death from bones?
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes. Usually you can do. First a physical examination. If you find a bullet hole or damage with a sharp instrument or fracture of the skull, blunt object. If you cannot find a physical sign, then, of course, the medical examiner have to look more in depth now probably have to do some pathological analysis.
And forensic scientist would have to look to see whether there was a bullet casing, any weapon, any damage of the clothing, any gun powder residue can recover from the scene. And any damage of Walkman, earpiece. Once we've finished that, determine the manner and that's by a process of elimination. At the same time, the crime scene should have a thorough search looking for sign of foul play, looking for distribution of the bone, location of the bone, how far from the trail and any disturbance of the ground.
KING: From what you know, how long should all of this take?
LEE: Well, basically the medical examiner is going to examine the body. I'm sure the bones already went to the medical examiner's office and probably a team of pathologists work on it. If you find a bullet hole, that's pretty easy. You going to hear very soon.
KING: Nancy Grace, does this -- I know how strongly you felt about Mr. Condit in the past on this show. Does this tend to make you think that it was not him?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: No. It does not. I think that what they will be looking for, obviously, is to rule whether this was a death of natural causes, which I highly doubt under the circumstances, a suicide, which I also doubt, or a homicide.
If it does lead to homicide, I think they will be looking at, for instance, was she buried in a shallow grave? Was a tool used which showed premeditation? Was she simply covered in leaves? I agree with Dr. Lee, I would also be looking at the clothing, was it ripped or torn? Is there blood?
Recall the body of Nicole Brown. There was actually a knife nick on one of the inner bones in the neck. Are there defensive wounds to the hands? in other words, Larry, are her fingers fractured, broken, sprained to show she fought back against her attacker. There's a lot to be found at the body and at the crime scene.
KING: Does this give you any concern, Mark?
GERAGOS: No, not really. I think for once I actually agree with Nancy. You can do quite a bit with the forensics. And they're going to be able to discover quite a bit. Actually, from our standpoint, I welcome it because I think that's going to exonerate Gary and we'll see that all these people who have come up with the wild speculation for all these months are going to obviously have to eat their words. Having said all that, Larry, at the same time, it's a horrible situation.
KING: Dr. Lee, police sources have told CNN, again this is told to me, that remains thus far don't show immediate evidence of foul play. Does that mean anything to you?
LEE: Yes. That means quite a bit. As a forensic scientist when we look at a crime scene, let's say the majority of bones, there are no sign of dismembering, no sign of foul play. Now have to look at the detail examination. Just like Nancy suggests, a bloodstain can be a clue whether or not surrounding area have blood stain. Whether or not the ground have any sign of disturbance. Of course, we have to start looking at trace evidence, sift through the scene and microscopically looking for any foreign hairs, fibers and a variety of other trace evidence.
KING: Could you tell if a rape occurred if you only had bones?
LEE: Very difficult, except the clothing. If we see the clothing had tears or damage. And we did have some case after two or three years on the clothing we have a detection of possible seminal fluid.
KING: Nancy, could there be a serial killer loose in Washington?
GRACE: It's possible, but Larry, it's not probable. I'm sure that Mark Geragos wants desperately to suggest there is a serial killer and, therefore, lump Chandra Levy into that group of victims. But from what many news accounts have suggested this death is not that similar to the other deaths. And another thing, in this...
GERAGOS: Why would I want that so desperately? All I'm suggesting...
GRACE: Because it would further exclude your client from this case.
GERAGOS: All I am suggesting is, is that my client in all of these wild theories...
GRACE: They're not that wild, Mark.
GERAGOS: ... all have not come to pass, Nancy. I know that's a difficult thing for you to come to grips with.
GRACE: I'm looking at the hard facts as they've been released on the media. He was her lover, it was an adulterous affair and he lied to police and was one of the last people with her.
GERAGOS: The one thing you can say is that the hard facts have not been released through the media.
GRACE: You know, Larry, you don't have to have a video camera to convince a jury of what happened. Juries can add very well that two plus two equals four. I hope that happens in this case.
GERAGOS: Right. Except you have to have some evidence first and there is none.
GRACE: Let's see what the autopsy says, Mark.
GERAGOS: I welcome the autopsy.
KING: Dr. Lee, does forensics start with any preconditioned opinion, or do they just start cold?
LEE: We start with cold. We usually process of elimination. When you eliminate all the impossible, whatever remains more probable, of course, we have to find some evidence to link somebody or exclude somebody. And of course, physical evidence is not necessary. It can be circumstantial, witnesses and can be a direct link and can be indirect link. A variety thing, just given the Walkman or the earpiece. The separation, how far there, any damage of those can give us some so-called silent clue.
GRACE: Or even fingerprints, Larry, on that Walkman. On her keys. Was she still wearing jewelry? That would rule out a robbery.
LEE: Excellent, Nancy.
KING: Is it much harder because of the time involved, Dr. Lee?
LEE: Yes. It's a lengthy process. Of course, I'm sure Chief Ramsey's crime scene people have been very careful to process the scene. FBI laboratory and many other forensics scientists can assist them in examining the trace evidence. KING: Nancy, you're confident they're going to find cause of death?
GRACE: You know, Larry, one year ago so many people speculated we would never see a trace of her body. Something inside of me then said yes, we will, some day, somehow we'll find out what happened to Chandra Levy. I've got to be frank, Larry. After a year of wondering, I think a lot of people, clearly her family, very emotional tonight. I can only hope that that body will reveal answers.
KING: Thank you all very much. Mark Geragos, the attorney for the Condit family, Dr. Henry Lee the world renowned forensic expert who we call upon on all questions like this and who probably knows more than anybody in the business, and Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor and anchor for "Trial Heat" on Court TV. We'll take a break.
When we come back, tell you about tomorrow night and a special Friday night show as well. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE Liza Minelli and her new husband David Guest will join us. Liza will not only sing, but we will also see for the first time in television films of the wedding itself. The most talked about wedding in years. And on Friday night, Bill Maher joins us for his first appearance since ABC dropped his program, "Politically Incorrect."
There are slow news days and some that aren't. And today was not one of those. Joining us in New York to host "NEWSNIGHT" here is Aaron Brown.
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