Fri, 27 Feb 2009 19:30:06 +0000 – By Lis WiehlFormer Federal Prosecutor/FOX News Legal Analyst
Once investigators announced that they were close to an arrest in the Chandra Levy homicide investigation, Gary Condit emerged from the shadows, ascended his soapbox and addressed his longtime foe -- the media. The former Congressman's message is no longer a proclamation of innocence. Instead, Condit aims to exploit the emergence of a suspect in the Levy investigation in order to restore his reputation and dignity; but not before battering the media for all of the damage it has allegedly caused.
Now, as Chandra Levy's family anxiously awaits closure, Condit is preparing for redemption. In fact, Condit recently announced: "It is unfortunate that an insatiable appetite for sensationalism blocked so many from searching for the real answers for so long...I had always hoped to have the opportunity to tell my side of the story, but too many were not prepared to listen. Now I plan to do so...."
Condit may have evaded a prison sentence, and consequently, state-enacted "Son of Sam" laws (laws that preclude criminals from selling their stories), which permit him to share his "story." Admittedly so, the very thought of Condit turning a profit off the Levy investigation is blood boiling. Condit's demise was his own doing and neither an apology nor any vindication awaits him.
Let's go back to 1998. It was then that Condit publicly demanded that Bill Clinton "come clean" about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Nevertheless, after Levy disappeared and the police questioned Condit about his relationship with Levy, Condit had the audacity to adamantly deny it. Only after Levy's aunt went public with the details regarding the relationship, did Condit admit to having the affair. And while Condit's reputation suffered from his adulterous relationship with a young woman two years younger than his own daughter, suspicions surrounding his connection to Levy's disappearance were exacerbated when Condit was caught attempting to a hide gift box in a trashcan.
Lies, an adulterous relationships and misleading authorities amidst a homicide investigation involving a former intern/mistress certainly warrant heightened suspicion of one's involvement. But are such events and immoral acts likely to undermine voters' confidence that one can adequately represent their interests? Consider this a mortal lock. It's no surprise, then, that Gary lost his bid for reelection. As a matter of fact, he should have lost. And as for Condit's beef with the media, well... Condit settled the scores with those media outlets accused of defaming him after reaching a settlement agreement back in 2004.
Condit's innocence may have prevailed in the death of Chandra Levy, but Condit only has himself to blame for the death of his respect, reputation and credibility.