A newly discovered e-mail from a missing Washington intern strongly suggests the mystery man she was dating is a member of Congress, cops said yesterday.

"My man will be coming back here when Congress starts up again. I'm looking forward to seeing him," Chandra Levy e-mailed a friend last Dec. 23. 

The 24-year-old brunette added in the e-mail that she had lied to a friend about dating an FBI agent "so she wouldn't ask any questions" about the man's real identity. 

The e-mail, first reported by The Modesto Bee and confirmed by cops, is the closest the highly secretive Chandra came to revealing she might have been seeing a congressman. 

Previously, her friend Michelle Yanez said Chandra told her the man was "someone in politics." 

But a classmate, Jennifer Baker, said Chandra never mentioned a politician, saying only that "she had a boyfriend in the FBI." 

Chandra, who had just finished a 6-month internship in the Bureau of Prisons' press office, was last heard from May 1, when she e-mailed her parents to say she was checking out airline prices before flying home to Modesto, Calif., for her graduation. 

When she failed to arrive, her parents contacted their congressman, Gary Condit, and he notified police on May 7. 

Condit, a married father of two, soon was inundated with questions about whether he was having an affair with Chandra. He denied it last week, calling her "a great person and a good friend." 

Aides to the California Democrat said Chandra visited Condit's office six times - mainly to get information on White House tours - since October, the last visit occurring five weeks ago. 

When questioned by detectives, Condit admitted Chandra visited his Washington apartment, but refused to give further details of the relationship. 

Chandra's mother, Susan, said last night she didn't know anything about her daughter's relationship with Condit. 

"It's not a very comforting thing to hear these stories," Susan Levy said. "It makes me feel nervous." 

In a statement yesterday, Condit said it was not appropriate "to speculate about a matter that is under investigation." 

But Condit's mother, Jean, offered a spirited defense, telling The Post, "I know my son, and I know he wouldn't have this kind of involvement. He's worked too hard in this profession. I know he didn't have anything to do with this."