Condit Hires Criminal Attorney

From Associated Press

Rep. Gary A. Condit has hired a criminal defense lawyer and called police to set up a second interview to talk about his relationship with a California woman who has been missing for nearly two months.

Details for the meeting with police remained to be worked out. "Hopefully, it will occur sooner rather than later," Condit (D-Ceres) said in a statement Friday.

Condit's new lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said his client will continue to cooperate with police who are investigating the disappearance of Chandra Levy, 24, whom Condit has described as a good friend.

Mike Lynch, Condit's chief of staff, said Lowell was hired because he is familiar with the media and Washington, not because of his criminal defense experience. Police have said Condit is not a suspect in the disappearance.

Condit described Lowell as a friend and "an expert in the ways of Washington." Lowell's clients have included Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.), Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) and James Riady, the Indonesian billionaire who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

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