This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, August 21, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. We're glad
you're with us. I'm Sean Hannity.
Now, we'll have some of the questions that you sent in for California congressman Gary Condit. That's coming up tonight.
But first, leading our debate across America on this Tuesday: Gary Condit agreed to speak to Connie Chung this Thursday night after over three months of silence since Chandra Levy disappeared. And can Condit really give us the answers to what we want to hear? And why is this interview only 30 minutes?
Joining us tonight from Washington, radio talk show host with Radio America Network and host to Fox News Channel's "War Stories," Colonel North, is with us. Here in New York, "Talk" magazine's Lisa DePaulo. And from Los Attorney, criminal defense attorney Shawn Chapman is with us.
You know, I got an e-mail just before coming down here tonight, Lisa.
LISA DEPAULO, "TALK" MAGAZINE: Right.
HANNITY: And you and I have had conversations both on and off the air. "You're not going to do Condit again?" And I sat there -- why is this story so important? Doesn't this raise issues about society, about morality, about what we expect in leaders, about criminal issues and investigations and obstructing justice? Why is it important to you? Because you have done a great job on this.
DEPAULO: And politics and sex.
HANNITY: And politics and sex and...
DEPAULO: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) other things, yeah.
HANNITY: Yeah. Why -- but what -- what is it about this~?
DEPAULO: Well, people are fascinated with this. People are obsessed by it. People really want to find out what happened to this woman. And I think people are cheering the media on to keep pushing this. I think the fact that Gary Condit has now taken over three months to say something is troublesome to a lot of people. He's going to really have to hit it out of the park to redeem himself.
HANNITY: But it's also going to be, as I said last night -- this is theatrical.
DEPAULO: Oh, yeah.
HANNITY: This is all prepared. He's gone before the cameras. He's been hammered with the questions.
HANNITY: We're going to rate him on a performance, not on whether or not he's really credible. And I -- if he bites his lip at just the right time and says, "I didn't" -- you know, it could be a good performance.
DEPAULO: Well, I think the performance part is one of the big problems because he has planned this so meticulously.
DEPAULO: And in some ways, he's seemed more like Madonna than like...
HANNITY: Like a rock star.
HANNITY: Yeah. Good point.
DEPAULO: Than -- than like an elected official who would be in front of the cameras and taking every question. I mean, the thing is, if you want to clear your name and you have nothing to hide, go answer the questions.
HANNITY: I agree with you.
Colonel North, I think an issue like this raises so many issues, that so many people -- it gives us a gut check, if you will, to use a Marine term. It gives us an opportunity to look at ourselves, evaluate what
morals are important to us, what we expect in leadership, and whether or not adultery matters, obstructing matters, the legal side of this, the political side of this. Why want more people ask for this guy to step down
after he abused this family? Do you agree this is an important issue in a lot of different areas?
OLIVER NORTH, RADIO AMERICA NETWORK: Sean, it's a very important issue. And what -- the worst part of all of this is that so few Democrats have risen up to criticize this man. We got six Republicans who've asked him to resign his station across the street here in the Congress of the United States. Not one Democrat has stepped up and said this man ought to leave.
There's a belief in Washington, and I hope it's not pervasive across the country, that you can have one set of morals for your public life and another set of morals for your private life. How many times have we heard the words, "What he does in the privacy of his own bedroom isn't our concern"? Well, it ought to be our concern because morality in public office ought to count.
And I, for one, don't understand how you could possibly have one set of morals for your public laws and the things that you're going to do in Congress and another set of morals for your...
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: All right, let me bring in...
COLMES: ... Shawn Chapman here. Shawn, you don't believe he should be talking, do you. You don't even think he should be talking to the authorities. You defend his behavior.
SHAWN CHAPMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I absolutely do. He is between a rock and a hard place, really. He obviously, has to say something to his constituency. I understand that. But as a criminal defense lawyer, I appreciate the reasons why he needs to be silent because, just as you said earlier, everyone is going to critique everything that he says...
CHAPMAN: ... every look on his face, every smirk, and...
COLMES: What about being silent to the...
DEPAULO: ... that's going to be used against him.
COLMES: What about silent to the police. Do you support the idea that it took him four interviews to finally acknowledge -- or three to finally acknowledge an affair with this woman? Do you think that's OK?
CHAPMAN: Yes, I do think that's OK because, as you know, the Constitution has a 5th Amendment, and that's a 5th Amendment right to remain silent. And even though it's been said...
COLMES: If you're a criminal.
CHAPMAN: ... it has not...
CHAPMAN: Even though it's been that said he is not a suspect...
COLMES: Right. Now...
CHAPMAN: ... we know that he's the No. 1 suspect.
COLMES: But the point is, he's behaving -- is he not behaving, Lisa, as if he is a criminal?
COLMES: This is a great strategy...
COLMES: ... if he's guilty.
DEPAULO: That's right.
DEPAULO: And I think the point, too, is people aren't saying, you know, this is an issue of what's private or public. This is about -- there was an investigation, and did you do...
DEPAULO: ... the right thing to help that investigation?
DEPAULO: Most people have accepted the fact that he cheated on his wife for 35 years. Hello? This is about "Did you help the cops?"
COLMES: Well, Shawn, let me go back to you for a second on this issue of -- OK, he has 5th Amendment rights. Let's just talk about from an integrity issue. Here's a man, had a relationship with the woman. The woman's missing. Doesn't he have a personal responsibility, as a congressman, as a human being, to come forward, to speak to the family, to speak to the cops and say everything he knows? Isn't that just a human responsibility in a situation like this?
CHAPMAN: Well, I understand what you're saying. Of course there's human responsibility. However, that has to be weighed against his interest in his own liberty. And because he's the prime suspect...
COLMES: Well, what interest does he have? I mean, unless -- other than trying to find Chandra Levy? And then when he speaks out, it may be too little, too late. And if so much time has gone by, that could really affect whether or not this woman -- it could be a life-or-death situation. We don't know the answer to these questions here!
CHAPMAN: No, we don't know the answer to any of these questions. And really, all we're doing is speculating. He is probably completely innocent, has nothing to do with this woman's disappearance at all. However...
NORTH: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
COLMES: Well, let her finish. Let her finish! Go ahead.
CHAPMAN: We're all going to sit around...
CHAPMAN: ... and we're going to analyze everything he says, every look he makes.
COLMES: All right...
CHAPMAN: And if there's anything that looks guilty, as far as we're concerned...
COLMES: Oliver North...
CHAPMAN: ... we're going to spend the next three weeks critiquing it.
COLMES: ... shouldn't we have -- Oliver, shouldn't we have a presumption of innocence here? You may feel he's guilty in your heart, but that's a feeling. Don't we have a presumption of innocence until proven guilty?
NORTH: Certainly, we do. Certainly, we do. And we know that this man has been told repeatedly that he's not a target or not a suspect in any of this.
CHAPMAN: He's obviously a target. Why are we sitting here talking about it if he's not a target?
NORTH: Well, excuse me! But the reality of it is that the man ought to be, if he's not, under investigation for obstruction of justice...
NORTH: ... for suborning perjury, for trying to get people out there to do wrongful things in the course of this lawful investigation.
I mean, this man did, after all, come to my commonwealth of Virginia to dump off what he considered to be something incriminating.
HANNITY: All right, we got to take a break. We'll pick it up right there, as we continue on HANNITY & COLMES.
Now, you sent us questions last night that you'd like Connie Chung to ask Gary Condit. We'll show you some of your questions coming up.
And also coming up later, the man who turned his own brother, the Unabomber, over to authorities. He's here. He'll tell us why he did that.
And also later, former Ohio congressman John Kasich. Well, he apparently has some explaining to do to Alan.
And we have on the latest with Gary Condit straight ahead.
COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.
Coming up later: What's the brother of the Unabomber speaking out about? You'll find out. And I'll have some tough questions for former Ohio congressman John Kasich.
Back to our debate -- and some of your questions for Congressman Gary Condit. We'll have those for you, as well, the ones you've e-mailed to us.
Lisa, let me ask you, as an interviewer, what would you be asking him? I'm sure you'd like the opportunity. You did a great piece for "Talk" magazine.
COLMES: What should Connie Chung be doing first?
DEPAULO: Well, I would really start with his behavior from May 1st on, both to the public, to his constituents.
COLMES: How about why did he wait this long to talk?
DEPAULO: Well, that's a great question.
COLMES: I mean, shouldn't that be the first question?
DEPAULO: Sure. I mean, you would think he would have been out there the first couple of days...
DEPAULO: ... saying, "Look, I really cared about her. I hate that this is happening."
COLMES: Do we know~ whether Mrs. Condit made plans to come to D.C. at the last minute? Was this a planned trip? When were those plane tickets bought?
DEPAULO: We still don't know that.
COLMES: Has anybody looked into that?
DEPAULO: I have tried to get that answered.
COLMES: Why not? Why have you not been able to do it?
DEPAULO: It's interesting...
COLMES: You're such a great reporter.
DEPAULO: I know. No, I'm working on it.
DEPAULO: It's funny because...
COLMES: There are airline records, right?
DEPAULO: Well, yeah. But the Congressional Wives Club, that she went to an event, does not want to confirm when she made those plans.
COLMES: Isn't that a key question, when did she come to D.C.?
DEPAULO: Absolutely. Well, the key question is, did she come for some other reason, or did she come because she was worried about his relationship...
DEPAULO: ... with Chandra. But I think more than that question is, was there some interaction between...
COLMES: What, between the two...
DEPAULO: ... Chandra and...
COLMES: ... of them.
DEPAULO: ... Mrs. Condit?
COLMES: Oliver North, is it -- you're a talk show host now. You're one of us. What would you be asking?
NORTH: Well, I'd ask -- I'd ask him, first of all, about the full knowledge that he had about her relationship with him and his relationship with her. Second, I'd ask him if he knew anybody with a boat on the Chesapeake Bay that's now missing 40 feet of anchor chain. I think this guy, who has demonstrated his cowardice, he's demonstrated...
COLMES: All right, go back to that...
NORTH: ... his lack of credibility...
COLMES: ... boat comment for a minute. Explain that boat comment.
NORTH: Well, every investigator I have talked to in the course of this investigation has concluded that if this were the victim of a street crime, the body would have been found. If this were the victim of somebody who knew her, well, then it may explain why no body has been found. And the likelihood is that this young woman, tragically, is no longer with us. And somebody ought to be asking how many phone calls he's made to people with a 410 or a 301 area code and checking for his friends on the
Chesapeake Bay because, if somebody is missing 40 feet of anchor chain, that's probably where she is.
HANNITY: Hey, Shawn, I want to go back to you saying it makes perfect sense for him not to cooperate with them and not say a word. What do you expect out of your moral leaders? What you do expect about this special elite group of people that we send to Washington? Somebody he called a friend, somebody he was having sex with, somebody who was 24 years old, you don't want him to say a word?
CHAPMAN: Well, you know what? It seems to me that, unfortunately, Mr. Condit's rock just got turned over. That's all it is. Anybody else in Washington, if their rock was turned over, who knows what we'd find. I bet you he has nothing to do with this. Unfortunately, there's a full can of worms...
HANNITY: So you -- you take this...
CHAPMAN: ... but I bet there's a can of worms about almost every guy over there in Washington.
HANNITY: You take this...
NORTH: Oh, baloney!
HANNITY: You take this philosophy -- and I don't believe all congressmen are like that. I don't believe you turn a rock over...
CHAPMAN: No, no. I agree with that.
HANNITY: There are good, honorable, decent...
CHAPMAN: Not all, but some.
HANNITY: ... people...
HANNITY: But you want this guy -- what's most important is he doesn't take a moral stand and lead the way and assist the family and help find the girl in trouble. He's to take the selfish way out. That's what you expect...
CHAPMAN: No. No.
HANNITY: ... out of a leader?
CHAPMAN: No, that's not what I'm saying. That's not what I'm saying. You know, people...
HANNITY: That is what you're saying.
CHAPMAN: Well, people had a hard time with the Ramseys, John and Patsy Ramsey, when they didn't speak out. And really, you know, it made perfect sense from a criminal defense perspective for them to have remained silent. Now, certainly, everybody wanted to hear what they were going to say or why they remained silent and all sorts of speculation occurred as a result of that.
DEPAULO: I disagree with.
CHAPMAN: But from my perspective...
DEPAULO: People still suspect them.
CHAPMAN: ... they needed -- absolutely. Absolutely. Of course they do. But from my perspective, it made perfect sense for them to remain silent...
HANNITY: Hang on a second, Shawn.
CHAPMAN: ... just as it does for him.
HANNITY: Lisa, you went in -- and your piece was about Chandra, who she is, what she was about.
DEPAULO: Right. And why...
HANNITY: You -- and you were the one that said she was not promiscuous, in spite of the fact she had this relationship with a married man.
HANNITY: I mean, is it almost inconceivable that a man that was that involved with her take that advice to be silent?
DEPAULO: Well, you know, so much of this is common sense. And what I hear from -- I'm not a lawyer, and what I hear from people out there is common sense. She was his lover, his "good friend," his constituent. And you see him walking down the hall, laughing, and you see him not saying anything to anyone. And to most people out there, it's just -- it's that simple. You know, if you care about someone, it's obvious.
HANNITY: Basic. Basic.
COLMES: All right, we're going to take a break right there. We'll pick it up in a moment. More fair and balanced debate about Congressman Condit's future right after this break.
More Condit coverage coming up. Stay with us on HANNITY & COLMES.
HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES -- Alan drops the gloves and takes on former Ohio congressman, our good friend, John Kasich.
But first we're continuing our debate about Congressman Condit's upcoming television interview. Still with us, radio talk show host Colonel North, Lisa DePaulo from "Talk" magazine. And now joining us from Los Angeles, replacing Shawn Chapman, is Fox News political analyst Susan Estrich.
Welcome aboard, Susan. Good to see you. In the "San Francisco Chronicle" today, they had, quote, "Political insiders note that Condit's close friend, Gray Davis, has chosen Chung to be the keynote speaker for California governor's Conference on October the 11th in Long Beach." They're good friends. Two of Condit's children work for Gray Davis. Is Connie Chung risking her professional career because of a political association, meaning...
SUSAN ESTRICH, USC PROFESSOR, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No!
HANNITY: ... she'd go soft?
HANNITY: She's not going to go soft on us here, is she?
ESTRICH: I'm telling you, Sean, she got the short strategy, the governor's conference. I've done it one year. I mean, you know, and it doesn't pay very well, I can tell you.
HANNITY: She's going to ask the tough questions, all of these questions?
ESTRICH: No, here's the problem, Sean, and you know it. They negotiated a great deal. I mean, they've got 25, 30 minutes live to tape. This is as good a deal as you get in live -- in television, so that Connie Chung is going to be constrained. I think she's a very good journalist, but you know what it's like in a live interview. You've got somebody like me, who can talk and talk and talk. You say what you want to say, right? And the danger for Connie is that she isn't going to be able to do the follow-up.
HANNITY: Yeah, but Susan, I -- first of all, I don't -- I never would have agreed to 30 minutes because just like Bill Clinton -- first of all, it's a -- it's a performance, it's not an interview.
HANNITY: He's prepared -- you know -- look, he's been...
ESTRICH: Of course he is!
HANNITY: ... before the cameras.
ESTRICH: I've taught people how to do this!
HANNITY: He's got a playbook. And I think most people need to be
aware of that.
HANNITY: But 30 minutes, he can dodge and weave and duck. I thought -- we have -- Carol Flynn (ph) from Idaho was one of the people writing in a question. And this is a big, big question for me. Red flags are still up on Ann Marie Smith's report of what Gary Condit said to her. "I may be in a little trouble. I may have to disappear. It will never come to trial. Don't these concern the police at all?"
I hope Connie Chung asks those questions and asks the follow-ups necessary. Colonel?
NORTH: It's not going to change a thing, Sean. I mean, Susan, is absolutely -- it's a rare occasion for me to agree with Susan.
ESTRICH: Oh, my God!
HANNITY: They held a lottery! They held a lottery to see who was going to do the interview. They picked Connie Chung. And what's going to happen is you're going to have more delay, deceive and destroy.
NORTH: You're going to have -- you're going to have another example of somebody who's got a zipper problem in the Democrat Party. Think about it~! The face of the Democrat Party has been...
NORTH: Wait a second! Now, think of this! Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson and Gary Condit! They've still got a zipper problem in the Democrat Party!
HANNITY: You know, let me...
NORTH: Connie Chung can't help them solve that.
DEPAULO: This isn't a zipper problem.
HANNITY: Let me -- hey, Lisa...
DEPAULO: This is a missing woman.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this question.
HANNITY: I believe it's a performance.
HANNITY: And I believe after we watch this interview, and we don't get a lot out of -- 30 -- look, we're almost done with the first half hour of this show. It goes by like that. We're going to be angry. I think -- you're going to be -- because you care about this story.
HANNITY: You care about this girl, Chandra, that you've investigated. That's what I expect.
DEPAULO: You know what? We might be. And if we are still angry, it's his fault for not taking all the time he should take to answer questions as an elected official. Give Connie Chung more credit. She...
DEPAULO: She will...
HANNITY: You're confident she's going to follow up...
DEPAULO: I am. I am.
HANNITY: ... she's not going to let him spin?
DEPAULO: I am.
HANNITY: "I was alone, but never thought we were alone," you know?
DEPAULO: But even if -- what I think is...
DEPAULO: ... she's really good at letting people be who they really are, and that's what we need to see.
HANNITY: And that'll come out?
HANNITY: Yeah. Well, do you agree, Susan?
ESTRICH: Well, I think Connie's a really good journalist, but I think it's a very tough one. I mean, you know, you go on -- and you know what it's like, Sean. He's going to have a script. He's going to be very controlled. He's going to have three things he wants to get across. He's going to look in that camera and say how sorry he is for the Levy family's pain. He's going to look at his constituents and say, "I'm sorry I let you down." But then he's going to look in that camera and say...
HANNITY: Boy, you wrote this...
ESTRICH: ... "I had nothing to do"...
HANNITY: ... Susan. You wrote it.
ESTRICH: No, I mean, you...
COLMES: Let me go to Ollie for a second. Do you think it's...
ESTRICH: "I had nothing to do with the disappearance of Chandra Levy."
COLMES: All right, Ollie...
ESTRICH: "Nothing to do with it." That's what he'll say.
COLMES: Do you -- do you think it's fair for us to be sitting here and criticizing Connie Chung? We don't -- she's...
ESTRICH: I'm not!
COLMES: I'm asking Ollie North.
NORTH: Well, look, I...
COLMES: Do we -- do we even know what's going to happen? Is she not an accomplished journalist? Has she not done competent interviews? Do you want to sit here and pre-determine what's going to happen?
NORTH: I can almost tell you what's going to happen.
COLMES: Oh, so...
NORTH: At the end of the day...
COLMES: Let's not even go through it!
NORTH: ... Susan's right...
COLMES: You know what's going to happen!
NORTH: I know what's going to happen.
COLMES: All right, the amazing Kreskin! Go ahead.
NORTH: It's not -- this is not the gift of prophecy. This is reality. What you're going to have is a woman -- is a woman trying to get questions in against, as Susan just pointed out, a very well-prepared witness who's not going to answer any questions directly, who's going to deny anything that had anything to do with a missing person.
DEPAULO: But people...
COLMES: So why even bother doing it? Lisa, go ahead.
DEPAULO: People are...
NORTH: Well, because he's got to do it to try to retrieve whatever is left...
COLMES: Well, Lisa...
NORTH: ... of his political aspirations.
COLMES: Go ahead.
DEPAULO: ... but there are -- there have be three months of questions.
DEPAULO: It's not just the three of that have the questions. All of America has these questions.
DEPAULO: If he doesn't answer them, it's a mistake.
COLMES: She's got to lead in there, does she not, Susan, and say, "Did you have anything to do with the disappearance of Chandra Levy?"
ESTRICH: Of course! Oh, he...
COLMES: "Did you kill Chandra Levy?"
COLMES: And we're going to see his reaction.
NORTH: He's going to say no.
COLMES: That's going to be significant.
ESTRICH: "No, I didn't. I didn't kill her. It's not my fault. The media is portraying me"...
HANNITY: Wait a minute. Say that. That's important.
ESTRICH: Oliver North and I...
ESTRICH: "The media is doing me in." He'll say that. And the question will be, at the end of the half hour, do Americans, particularly those Americans who live in Modesto, California, and get a vote in this one...
ESTRICH: ... feel better about...
COLMES: So Lisa...
ESTRICH: ... Gary Condit?
COLMES: ... somewhere in a room right now, Gary Condit is sitting and practicing...
COLMES: ... saying, "I had nothing to do with it."
DEPAULO: Yeah, but think about that just in and of itself.
DEPAULO: Practicing what? If you have nothing to hide...
ESTRICH: Oh, come on!
DEPAULO: ... if all you have been is a bad husband, what is there to practice?
HANNITY: Good point.
COLMES: Well, people want to hide the fact...
NORTH: Well, first of all...
NORTH: He's not going to show up with that cadaverous grin that he's been wearing ever since...
DEPAULO: But America -- people out there have questions, and I hope Connie Chung gets every one possible in in 30 minutes, and I think she's going to do a fabulous job. But what's left over...
DEPAULO: ... people are going to still have. It's not going to stop tomorrow night.
COLMES: All right, let me show you another question that was sent in to us from one of our viewers. And the question is, "Do you have" -- they think the question should be, "Do you have the moral values to be a congressman? And will you tell me why?"
ESTRICH: Yes, and he'll say, "I do. I do. I've made mistakes. I'm sorry."
COLMES: Susan, are you coaching him? Are you actually coaching Gary Condit for this?
ESTRICH: No, I just know these answers. I mean, I've been to this movie.
ESTRICH: And the problem with this format is that Connie can do a great job -- Connie's a great journalist...
HANNITY: Not in 30 minutes!
ESTRICH: ... but unless she gets very lucky, all right...
COLMES: So what should really happen, Ollie...
COLMES: ... he should stand up there, like Geraldine Ferraro did many years ago, until all the reporters have finished asking their questions. That would be the right thing to do, correct?
ESTRICH: But he doesn't want to do that.
NORTH: Absolutely right.
DEPAULO: Until the last one drops.
NORTH: Absolutely correct. And the guy doesn't have the guts to do it!
DEPAULO: Why? Exactly.
NORTH: Because he's a coward!
COLMES: Susan, you agree with that?
NORTH: The guy's a coward!
ESTRICH: Oh, he can't do it. I mean, you know...
COLMES: Why can't he doe it?
ESTRICH: ... the criminal defense -- if this was...
DEPAULO: ... the agriculture bill...
HANNITY: All right, we have to...
ESTRICH: ... all the questions.
HANNITY: We have to run. He can't do it in 30 minutes. Lisa, she can't do it in 30 -- good to see you. Thank you. Susan, thank you. Colonel North, good to see you.
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