This partial transcript of Fox News Sunday, July 8, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
TONY SNOW, HOST: We're joined by former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova and private investigator Terry Lenzner.
Mr. Lenzner, let me begin with you. One of the things that people have been noting is that the D.C. police have not yet even asked for permission to take a look at Gary Condit's apartment. Isn't that among the first things you would do if you're trying to do an investigation into a case like this?
TERRY LENZNER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes, it is actually. I would like to search the premises with his consent. And, frankly, if he didn't give consent, then I think I'd move to go to a grand jury and seek a subpoena for the contents of his apartment and access to the apartment.
SNOW: Joe DiGenova, you're a former prosecutor. When you're looking at a case like this and trying to gather information, again, is it conceivable to you that they wouldn't ask to do this in the first place?
JOSEPH DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: I am absolutely stunned by the news conference that Assistant Chief Gainer has last night when he indicated they have not in the past and don't intend to in the future ask to search his apartment voluntarily. I cannot believe that that was not one of the first things that the police did not ask him to do, especially in light of the fact that the congressman obviously lied to them in the first two interviews, and it wasn't until the third interview that he finally told the truth and admitted that he had a relationship with this missing person.
This is a fundamentally important piece of information in a missing person case, forget whether or not it's a criminal case. He withheld that information from the police over a number of weeks. It's absolutely outrageous. It is indefensible, and his explanation that he did it to protect his family is unbelievable.
And I think the fact that his staff is now saying that his statement vindicates him is absolutely ludicrous. It does nothing of the kind. In fact, it does not vindicate him. It shows him to have lied to the investigators at least twice. And, as far as I'm concerned, the fact that he has lied means that he may have withheld other information from the police and others.
So I think, at this point, far from being vindicated, he is the subject of more suspicion, and he should be.
SNOW: Mr. Lenzner, in a case like this where you're trying to get information about a missing person, where do you begin? Where do you look for clues? What information ought to be available right now to investigators?
LENZNER: Well, they should have all of the victim's records, credit card records, telephone records, and they should have her hard drive from her computer and the server that served her computer. And they should have the same materials for anybody that they feel may have potentially been involved in her possible disappearance or worse. So they should begin with every conceivable piece of paper, computer product that anybody would have any communications on to or from her.
SNOW: Now, you used the term victim. Is it your sense that, in fact, she is a victim of foul play, and, if so, why?
LENZNER: Well, it is my sense because so much time has passed over two months now without any sign of her resurfacing, that the FBI is in the case because there's a presumption after a certain time frame that she's either been kidnapped across state lines or worse.
So, I agreed with Joe, that to allow weeks to pass with the misimpression given to the police about the congressman's relationship, may have impeded the inquiry.
And my experience, Tony, is that in a missing person's case, the first 48 to 72 hours are absolutely the most crucial time frame. And if you let the evidence get stale after that, you're in real trouble.
DIGENOVA: I concur heartily. In a missing person's case, it is very important that the people who are closest to the missing person quickly give detailed and accurate information to the police. Congressman Condit did not do that. In fact, he withheld information from the police for this length of time, from the beginning of the investigation. So he has harmed this investigation by his conduct.
SNOW: Talking about his conduct, he's hired criminal defense attorneys, and the other thing he's done, or at least according to Anne Marie Smith, is he asked her to fill out an affidavit denying that the two had had a relationship.
DIGENOVA: Yes, and also apparently, according to her, was on the telephone with her, telling her that she did not have to speak with the FBI.
I think this whole concept of how he has handled this, putting aside the question of whether or not he is involved in her disappearance -- and that remains an open question, by the way, whether or not he was involved in her disappearance. That question has not been conclusively answered by anybody at this point.
The police may say he is not a suspect. I think that is a courtesy that is being extended to him as a public official. He should be a suspect. Under all the facts and circumstances, in light of the fact that he lied about the relationship to the police; that he lied and tried to get someone else, apparently, through either his attorneys or an investigator or himself in a telephone conversation to lie about whether or not they had a relationship -- which is relevant, not because we're the sex police, but because he may have had a pattern of conduct which would be relevant in a missing person's investigation about the way he treated women. At this point, his conduct is extremely suspicious.
SNOW: Mr. Lenzner, in addition, we have reports that -- well, Carolyn Condit, the congressman's wife, was interviewed in Washington, D.C., rather than in California. Was that at all unusual?
LENZNER: Well, there are two ways to look at that. First, there were plenty of FBI agents that are working on this case out in California that they could have easily made available for an interview with her. On the other hand, the chief investigators -- and I might have taken this position myself had I been running this investigation -- may feel that they had so much more information than the field agents in California that they didn't want to have them surprised in case this was the only interview available with her, and so they asked her to come to Washington. The other explanation, of course, Tony, could be that they wanted it in Washington so he would have a reason not to appear in July 4 and answer questions from the media that were obviously going to be there.
Now, the thing -- I just want to go back to what Joe said, and I agree with him again. I thing I find astonishing, if I could just add this, is that after all the -- and I want to pile on this congressman, but after all the cover-ups we've had in Washington, one would think by now that elected officials would understand the need to be completely candid with their counsel and their staffs when they become the target of investigations and inquiries and give the information to the authorities and to the public as soon as is appropriate.
DIGENOVA: And to continue to make these kinds of mistakes, I find absolutely astonishing.
SNOW: Joe, let me switch a little bit. Terry Lenzner mentioned the fact that you've got the FBI involved, which means there is a presumption of a crime. Meanwhile the D.C. police say, well, no, there are no crimes, this is a missing person's case. The two counts don't square with each other.
DIGENOVA: I think there is a toreador's dance going on here, Tony. I think the police clearly don't want to call him a suspect because, the minute you do, you have to read him his rights. And they have been able to continue to interview him and, I think, develop evidence of consciousness of guilt on his part by the fact that he has lied, that he has sought to get others to lie, and that clearly he has used his staff to put out false information to the public, which is an abuse of his office, as far as I'm concerned, to use his publicly paid staff to put out falsehoods to the American people and presumably to police investigators.
I think clearly there is a case involving the investigation of crime. And the reason the FBI investigators were in on the interview is, if you lie to them, it's a 1001 violation. It's a false statement to a federal investigator.
SNOW: OK. Mr. Lenzner, in addition, Joe is making the case, it sounds like, that they're trying to give the congressman possibly enough rope to hang himself.
LENZNER: Well, I think they certainly have got to have him -- if they're not calling him a suspect for courtesy reasons because they don't want to irreparably damage his political career, I can understand that. But I'm also certain that he's got to be the focus of the inquiry at this point, along with potentially other targets, I don't know. They should be looking at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they should be looking at other associates, and they shouldn't be reaching any assumptions or conclusions. But at some point, I would think that they should impanel a grand jury, because there's no downside to having a grand jury at this point. If they interview him again, they can interview other people again. But if they put him in under oath, then, like Joe indicated, they have a problem with perjury under oath or 1001 Title 18 to a federal agent...
SNOW: All right. Terry Lenzner, Joe DiGenova, thanks for joining us.
DIGENOVA: Thank you, Tony.
LENZNER: Thank you, Tony.
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