Condit Had Appointment With Grand Jury

By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Rep. Gary A. Condit was scheduled yesterday to appear before a D.C. grand jury investigating the disappearance of Chandra Levy and obstruction of justice allegations involving the California Democrat and possibly others, according to sources familiar with the probe.

Condit's scheduled appearance yesterday morning was a carefully guarded secret. Authorities, concerned about grand jury leaks, declined to provide any details. It was unclear whether he offered testimony to the jury or invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

"We don't comment on the identity or the comings and going of witnesses in our pending investigations," said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Condit is one of the first witnesses scheduled to appear before the grand jury probing the Levy case, according to law enforcement authorities. The grand jury is expected to call members of Condit's staff and Levy's friends, acquaintances and co-workers.

Authorities have repeatedly said that Condit is not a suspect in the disappearance of the 24-year-old California woman, who had just completed an internship with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons when she disappeared nearly a year ago. She was last seen April 30 at her health club north of Dupont Circle, several blocks from her studio apartment.

Law enforcement sources have said authorities are looking into whether the married Condit, who has told police he was having an affair with Levy, obstructed justice and was less than forthright with investigators during the four times Condit met with them.

Condit, who has denied any involvement in Levy's disappearance, was originally subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury April 4, but the date was postponed until yesterday.

His Los Angeles attorney, Mark Geragos, who was in Washington yesterday, could not be reached for comment. Attorneys cannot sit in on the grand jury proceedings but can stand outside and confer with their clients during breaks.

Condit lost his reelection bid last month in the primary to a former ally, Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza.

In November, the grand jury subpoenaed records from Condit's congressional office, including telephone message slips, calendars and constituent mail.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company