Text of a paper statement released by Abbe Lowell, attorney for Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif.

"For weeks, Congressman Condit has stated that he would assist the police in their efforts to locate Chandra Levy.

"Today, the Congressman's wife, Carolyn, met with law enforcement officials to provide whatever information she could. To expedite this, Congressman Condit accompanied Mrs. Condit to the Washington area in order to facilitate her meeting with investigators and consequently was unable to participate in traditional 4th of July events in Modesto.

"Even prior to Mrs. Condit's interview, Congressman Condit had given two substantial interviews to the police and directed his staff to provide information that may be requested of them.

"In light of the ongoing and central importance of the police investigation, Congressman Condit has issued statements to the press only when doing so would not interfere with the work of law enforcement authorities. It is clear from a review of other similar cases that broad and detailed dissemination of confidential police interviews can seriously compromise police investigations. With Chandra Levy's whereabouts unknown, this is not a risk tha Congressman Condit, or anyone else, should be willing to take.

"The media's intense interest in Ms Levy's disappearance is completely undestandable. Consequently, I have asked Marina Ein, someone I know from the communication world, to assist me with media inquiries. As the fierce competition to fill pages, airtime and websites threatens to spin this story out of control, Congressman Condit has resisted and will continue to resist efforts by the media to dissect and micharacterize his and his family's private lives. Unlike some, Congressman Condit remains singularly focused on what is and remains the central mission at this time -- locating Chandra Levy. Congressman Condit hopes and prays for Chandra Levy's safe return. It is his belief that the media can play an important role in helping this investigation reach a positive conclusion. It is also his belief that the media risks losing its focus with what has been a recent and seemingly unbounded effort to expose highly personal and private Condit family matters. None of these matters pertian to Ms. Levy's disappearance or the ability of law enforcement to determine what has happened to her. To all of you, I ask that you return your focus to that priority.

"In summary, Congressman Condit has twice met with the police, followed up with the police by telephone, and reached out to meet and speak with Chandra Levy's family. IN addition, Congressman Condit's wife has herself met with police.

"The police have stated that Congressman Condit is not a suspect, that he has been cooperative and that his meetings with them have been productive. These are there words.

"The Congressman hopes and believes that the caring public will not confuse his well-founded reasons for not fueling a misguided media frenzy, with his, Mrs. Condit's, and his staff's continued willingness to speak with those professionals who are working day and night to find Chandra Levy."