A top Washington police official denies a newspaper's report that a grand jury will be impaneled to probe missing intern Chandra Levy's disappearance.
Executive Assistance Police Chief Terrance Gainer says that an article in the Saturday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle is "incorrect."
Citing unidentified law enforcement sources, the paper reported that a federal grand jury is expected to call upon Rep. Gary Condit – the congressman believed to have had an affair with Levy – and several members of Condit's staff to testify about the California Democrat's relationship with the intern.
The Chronicle went on to report that the grand jury will permit Washington police and the FBI to subpoena records that may be relevant to the case, including Condit's cellular phone bills, the paper said. And ABC News reported Friday that police were eager to get their hands on Condit's phone records to see if they could learn any more about the politician's contact with the intern.
In addition to denying the newspaper account, Gainer told The Associated Press today that the police are still treating Levy's disappearance as a missing persons case. He said that Condit is – in the official's words – "absolutely not under investigation."
The grand jury speculation comes just two days after Linda Zamsky, Chandra's aunt, said her niece confided details about her secret affair with the congressman.
"Hi, Linda. This is Chandra. My internship is over," the missing intern said in a message left on Zamsky's answering machine the day before she vanished in Washington. "I'm planning on packing my bags in the next week or 10 days. Heading home for a while. Don't know what I'm going to do this summer. And I really have some big news or something important to tell. Call me. ..."
Zamsky said she was coming out with the information she gleaned in the several months that she was Levy's confidante because she was upset that Condit's staff members have repeatedly denied there was a romantic relationship.
"The Levy family is frustrated and outraged that Congressman Gary Condit and his associates have mischaracterized Chandra Levy's relationship with the congressman," Zamsky said in a public statement. "From my many conversations with her, it was clear, without a doubt, that they were involved in an intimate relationship.
"We believe that Rep. Condit's lack of candor is hindering efforts to find Chandra."
The relationship between Levy, a 24-year-old intern at the Bureau of Prisons, and her congressman has been under scrutiny since the Modesto, Calif., woman disappeared from her Washington apartment. Levy was last seen on April 30.
On Thursday, Zamsky added more evidence about what she called the "bedroom encounters" of Levy and Condit when she released a wealth of details about her niece's feelings for the married congressman, including Levy's hopes that she would eventually marry Condit and bear his babies.
Levy first told Zamsky about her affair with Condit last fall, Zamsky said. She said the congressman gave Levy gifts of jewelry and chocolate, bought her plane tickets and spent his weekends with her, all under a veil of the strictest secrecy. Zamsky said Condit went to great lengths to maintain the cover that he and Levy were merely platonic friends, including elaborate ruses to keep neighbors from learning that Levy was visiting him at his Adams Morgan apartment, or to quell suspicion when the two took taxicabs together.
"So these are all little details that she had worked out with him, that kind of, you know, really show how serious this relationship was and how serious it was that it had to remain a secret," Zamsky said.
At first Levy refused to name her lover, saying only that he was an older man in government, "looking a little bit like Harrison Ford. And she said he was lean, good shape, worked out, very conscientious about his body for 53 years old," Zamsky said.
Condit is 53 years old.
But Levy eventually slipped and mentioned Condit by name, Zamsky said.
"I asked her, 'How do you get in touch with him if it's so secretive, this relationship?' And she said ... she would also call his [office]. She said, 'And ... they'd answer, Gary Condit.' And that's how his name came out ... Congressman Condit's office. Congressman Gary Condit's office. That's how the name came out.
"And she goes, 'Oops.' She says, 'Oh, you didn't hear that, did you?' And I said, 'No.'"
Zamsky said Levy told her she remained monogamous to Condit and hoped she would marry Condit after five years and have his baby. Zamsky characterized those plans as wishful thinking on Levy's part, with no evidence that Condit had led the younger woman to believe any of it would happen.
In April, Levy talked about her relationship with her "boyfriend, my guy," in more serious terms, Zamsky said. The next time Zamsky would hear from her niece would also be the last — the recorded message on her machine in which Levy said she was returning to Modesto and promised "something important to tell."
Zamsky described Levy's account of the relationship in a 90-minute videotaped interview with police.
Zamsky's description of a heavy romance between the congressman and her missing niece came as law enforcement officers questioned Condit's wife, Carolyn.
Condit's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, confirmed that investigators had met with the congressman's wife, but he did not reveal any details.
Lowell indicated that Condit will continue his public silence about Levy, whom he has described as a "great person and a good friend."
"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 ... continued willingness to speak with those professionals who are working day and night to find Chandra Levy," the statement said.
Law enforcement officials have given no indication why they wanted to question Mrs. Condit, other than their repeated statements that they wanted to talk to anyone who might shed any light on the case.
Investigators Doubt Levy Committed Suicide
On Thursday, Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey said Levy most likely did not commit suicide, because her body probably would have been found by now.
"The good news is we haven't found anything that indicates she's met with foul play. The bad news is that we haven't found anything at all, period," Ramsey said.
Ramsey said police have few clues about Levy's disappearance, but are focusing on one of two possibilities: that Levy intended to vanish or someone harmed her.
A search of her apartment found nothing missing but her keys. Police have no evidence of a crime, no suggestion that Levy ran off, no similarities between Levy's case and those of other missing persons, Ramsey said.
Ramsey said investigators have interviewed Condit twice and will do so a third time if necessary, though they have said repeatedly he is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance. Ramsey stressed that Condit is "one of 100 people we've talked to" about Levy's disappearance.
"We don't have anything to connect him to her disappearance," Ramsey said when asked if the police would seek to obtain a search warrant to inspect Condit's apartment in Washington.
Police sources told Fox News that in one of the interviews, Condit strongly intimated that he had a romantic relationship with Levy, and that she was despondent, even obsessed, when he broke up with her shortly before her disappearance.
Condit's lawyer, however, said that Condit said nothing of the sort.
Ramsey also deflected questions about Condit's alleged affair with flight attendant Anne Marie Smith.
"We're not investigating an affair he had with a flight attendant," Ramsey said. "We're investigating a missing person. I'm trying to find Chandra Levy."
Ramsey played down the relevance to the investigation of Smith's allegations that she had a 10-month affair with the congressman. "It's a heck of a leap. ... We're not the sex police here. We're trying to investigate a missing person," Ramsey said.
Condit's private life "only matters to me if it relates to the Chandra Levy case," he said. Although police have questioned Condit's neighbors in his Washington condominium, they have not searched his apartment.
In a strange twist to the story, the New York Daily News, citing sources close to the Levy family investigation, reported on Friday that Condit has close ties to members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. The congressman rides a Harley-Davidson when he is home in his northern California district, the newspaper reported.
Fox News' Rita Cosby contributed to this report.