Fox News Interviews D.C. Executive Assistant Police Chief

The full text of Fox News' interview with Washington, D.C., Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer:

TONY SNOW, HOST: For more on the Chandra Levy case we're joined by Washington, D.C., Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer. Also here with questions, our Fox News panel: Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams. Brit Hume has the day off.

Mr. Gainer, Abbe Lowell, attorney for Gary Condit, the other day announced that Mr. Condit had undergone a private polygraph test, and he characterized for members of the press just how impressive those results were. Let's show a piece of tape.


ABBE LOWELL, ATTORNEY FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE GARY CONDIT: He is going to submit his report, the raw data, the analysis, the underlying graphs. I am convinced that when they see that, they will see that there's no need for any further testing.


SNOW: That was two days ago. Have they presented you had yet with the results?

GAINER: We have not gotten any of the material, no.

SNOW: Based on what you know, there were three questions outlined, and let me show the three questions that Abbe Lowell presented to the press that they said conclusively indicate that Mr. Condit really has nothing to fear from this particular case.

Question one: Did the congressman have anything at all to do with the disappearance of Ms. Levy? Second, did he harm her or cause anyone else to harm her in any way? And three, does he know where she can be located?

Does that cover the waterfront?

GAINER: It does not, and it's really the way the polygraph is given versus just the questions. The questions are very important and I think they're close to the type of things we'd want to know. But it's really the atmosphere, the knowledge factor of the examiner. And in every case I've ever been involved in, the detectives sit with the polygraph examiner, fully explain the case, and they have some sense of where the police want to go versus the person who's being polygraphed.

SNOW: Isn't it the case that there's kind of a cottage industry -- and I'm not casting aspersions on people administering these tests. But there's a cottage industry in putting together friendly polygraph exams privately so that people look good when they're administered.

GAINER: I think that's possible. That's why you have to closely look at the circumstances the examine was given and the polygraph examiner. Now, in this case, at least the polygraph examiner is a very credible former FBI agent, so that's a plus in this.

MARA LIASSON: Do you still want Gary Condit to take a polygraph test under your supervision?

GAINER: Yes, I do think there are other questions that we can explore that will help us satisfy ourselves and, I think, maybe even the Levy family.

LIASSON: But would you ask those same questions again? In other words, are you satisfied with the answers he's gave to those three questions?

GAINER: I can't make a determination on that because we have no context in which they were given. We can't see the graphs or how it was done.

FRED BARNES: Would you like to see them? I mean, will you subpoena them if you don't get them from Abbe Lowell soon?

GAINER: Well, I take him at his word that he's going to deliver them, and we're information sponges. We'll want that information, and we'll analyze it and see how it fits in with our theories.

BARNES: Isn't it safe to say now that, since you do want Gary Condit to subject himself to a lie detector test that you supervise, isn't it safe to say that he is a suspect in Chandra Levy's disappearance?

GAINER: Not at all. I just think we need to keep collecting the information. Frankly, the congressman's issue is just one small dimension of what the Metropolitan Police Department is doing in this case.

BARNES: Are there any others who you want to give lie detector tests?

GAINER: I think there are others that we've talked to or will talk to that that should be an important tool.

The polygraph is not fail safe, but it's an important investigative tool that helps us explore possibilities.

WILLIAMS: Chief Gainer, do you have an alibi that you believe from Mr. Condit?

GAINER: I wouldn't comment on the specifics of the conversations we've had.

WILLIAMS: So you don't have a time line as to his whereabouts at the time of Ms. Levy's disappearance?

GAINER: I haven't said that. We've collected a lot of information both orally and physical evidence, documentary evidence that we're putting together to look at.

WILLIAMS: Have you seen Chandra Levy's medical records? Do you know if she was pregnant?

GAINER: We do not have any indication that she was pregnant, and we have not discovered any medical records.

WILLIAMS: And do you have any sense from the Levy family whether or not they have medical records that would indicate whether or not she was pregnant?

GAINER: They have no such information. They don't believe she was pregnant. And her father, who's a doctor, does not think she was pregnant.

BARNES: Would you like to give Mrs. Condit a lie detector test?

GAINER: Not necessarily, no. She did answer all our questions, and that's not on our mind right now, no.

BARNES: One thing Abbe Lowell says is that the press has impeded the investigation in the search for Chandra Levy. Do you think that's true?

GAINER: I do not think that's the case. Now, obviously there's a lot of attention on the congressman angle. That's not our only angle. And, frankly, the press helps get it out there. You know, if we can get someone to either turn their heart, drop a dime on someone or give us some information, that works to our advantage.

BARNES: Well, Lowell says he wants the press to concentrate on these 99 other people that you've talked to. Would you like the press to do that?

GAINER: Well, I don't think that it's good to have leaks in the case, so what we're doing -- what the press ought to be doing is satisfied and hold Ramsey and I responsible and maybe help get the word out.

WILLIAMS: Now, one of the other ultimate theories being put forward, especially toward the end of the week, was that, in fact, there's a serial killer on the streets of Washington, D.C. What do you think, Chief?

GAINER: I think that's a terrible overstatement that's just not true. We're looking at the other cases that have been raised, and we're analyzing those very carefully. But I think it's really wrong to spread that kind of fear through the District of Columbia. It's just not true. We don't see those connections.

WILLIAMS: Well, you do have two other people, who were -- two young women, both brunettes, I believe, one of whom still is missing. And so, why not make the connection?

GAINER: Now, Juan, actually what we have is one murder that happened in Georgetown, not anywbere connected to Dupont Circle. And we have another woman, an oriental, an Asian-American, who went missing for some three months before her body washed up in the river. And there's no indication that that's a murder.

LIASSON: Chief Gainer, one of the things that a lot of people have wondered is why you didn't search abandoned buildings or landfills sooner. I know this week you started to look into some of the buildings in the neighborhood. But why not do that earlier?

GAINER: Actually, we did a lot of that, and the people just don't know about it. I think, again, we've done a lot of things, a lot -- searching of a lot of buildings, a lot of areas in the District of Columbia. And it's only these other things that are getting attention. And frankly, the press and others are just catching up to where we were many months ago.

SNOW: Well, one thing is clear. Mr. Condit's apartment wasn't searched for 10 weeks after Chandra Levy's disappearance. Did you ask earlier to look at the apartment?

GAINER: We did not. First off, there was no probable cause to get a warrant. And even when he we did the preliminary talk with him, we didn't have any reason at that point to ask that. Again, we're looking at things now 10 weeks later and trying to judge now what we knew one week after.

LIASSON: What changed to make you want to search his apartment if he's still not a suspect?

GAINER: Well, he offered to let us search the apartment, and anybody who offers, we'll take that in. But obviously there's been a lot of information we've picked up. We had three interviews with him. And there's been a lot of things in the media that have raised questions.

SNOW: Is there any way to tell, on the basis of your search of the apartment, whether things have been removed in the last 10 weeks, whether things have been scrubbed down or anything like that?

GAINER: Well, the results of our search are being analyzed by the FBI at their forensic lab. And then we'll be able to determine better what went on or didn't go on in the apartment.

SNOW: But you wouldn't be able to know just by a quick visual inspection?

GAINER: Well, I think you can tell some things. But I guess it also stands to reason, if Abbe Lowell would have a pretest on a polygraph, that I'm sure that the apartment got the once over, too. I'm guessing.

SNOW: Speaking of Abbe Lowell, he mentioned that there are 99 other people that have been investigated. If you're rank-ordering, in terms of the importance or the cogency of the information those people can give, where does Gary Condit rank?

GAINER: I think anybody who is apparently as close to Chandra as he was or is ranks higher in our interest level than others. We've talked to...

GAINER: Number one, number two?

GAINER: We've talked to hundreds, and some people just happen to live in the same building. Others just happen to work in the same building. Others were casual acquaintances. And apparently his relationship was much more, so it's much higher.


SNOW: Is he the top person, number one in terms of the information?

GAINER: We don't rank them that way.

WILLIAMS: Chief, what do you take away from the fact that Chandra Levy had nothing but her keys on her when she disappeared? I've read where one columnist suggests that there are only two places a woman doesn't take her purse, and that would be either to the gym or riding on a motorcycle, and we know that Congressman Condit has a motorcycle.

GAINER: I don't think we should make the assumption that women do that generally. I happen to have an 18-year-old daughter and a 24- year-old daughter. And I see them leave the house a lot, much to my chagrin, with only keys or maybe a few bucks in their pocket.


GAINER: And a lot of people we've talked to, that's the case. Now, you can talk to folks who are the other way. But it's not unusual, I don't think, for the early 20's, late 19's, not to be carrying stuff around like we do.

BARNES: If Gary Condit is not a suspect, is there someone else who is a suspect in the disappearance?

GAINER: No, because we haven't worked through the fact that we have a crime, but it's not just that. I mean, the theories about whether she committed suicide, was the victim of a street crime or walked away on her own I think are very competitive.

BARNES: One thing Abbe Lowell wound up asking was -- he said Gary Condit had done all these things, you all had interviewed him three times, he'd allowed you to search his room and so on. He said, what more can he do?

Are there other things besides a lie detector test that you would like Condit to do in this investigation?

GAINER: At the moment, beyond the polygraph and sharing what went on in the polygraph, there isn't. Again, he's just one small portion of that. But we're going to keep our options open with him or anybody else to further explore our theories.

SNOW: Mr. Gainer, we gather that the surveillance tape at Chandra Levy's apartment building is unusable. Is that correct?

GAINER: That's correct. Remember we weren't called into this until days afterwards. The procedure in that building was to reuse the tape every seven days. It appears that they didn't follow their own procedure. That in fact they may have kept taping over them or just reusing the same tape. It wasn't available to us.

SNOW: Any eye witnesses who saw Chandra Levy leave that building?


SNOW: When you want the public to cooperate, what pieces of information can people give you right now? If they're going to call you something you need, what should they be giving?

GAINER: Well, the nature of the type of things we're getting now is potential sightings, and those are very important to us. And even if they're just not quite certain, whether it's in the District of Columbia or greater metropolitan area or nationwide, that's the type of thing they should give us or call their own police department.

SNOW: All right, Terrance Gainer, thanks for joining us this morning.

GAINER: Thank you, appreciate it.

SNOW: We're going to take a break. Up next, will it be a long hot summer on Capitol Hill?