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Flight attendant stands by Condit story

Anne Marie Smith says Condit
Anne Marie Smith says Condit "asked me to lie."  


MODESTO, California (CNN) -- A woman who claims to have had an affair with Rep. Gary Condit rejected as "ludicrous" Tuesday the lawmaker's suggestion that she was trying to make money by going public with her story.

Anne Marie Smith further reacted with disbelief to Condit's claim that they did not have a relationship.

"I don't understand what he defines as a relationship," said Smith, a flight attendant who maintains she had a 10-month affair with Condit.

Speaking in New York Tuesday on "ABC's Good Morning America," Smith repeated her allegation that Condit had asked her to sign an affidavit denying they had a relationship.

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Rep. Gary Condit's son Chad talks to CNN's Larry King in an exclusive interview (August 27)

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Listen to the entire Condit interview with affiliate KOVR/SBG (Part 1) (August 24)

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"He asked me to lie. And if I hadn't had an attorney, I would have perjured myself. I mean, I wasn't aware of the law," Smith said. "I wanted to keep my name out of the media. I would have marched right over there and signed that affidavit."

Despite Condit's disavowal of the document as a lawyer-to-lawyer communication, Smith insisted, "He knew exactly what was in it." She said he had called her three or four times asking her to sign it.

"There were at least three or four phone calls from Mr. Condit. He called me directly from Mr. Cotchett's office, saying it was a safe phone," she said, referring to a San Francisco attorney who worked for the lawmaker.

Smith's attorneys filed paperwork with a grand jury Monday, seeking to indict Condit and two aides on charges of attempting to cause her to commit perjury and of obstruction of justice. One of Smith's attorneys, Jim Robinson, told CNN on Tuesday the legal maneuver was an unusual one.

"It hasn't been done in Stanislaus County in more than 40 years, but it's perfectly legal, though," he said on "The Point with Greta Van Susteren."

Jim Brazleton, the district attorney for Stanislaus County, disagreed.

"It's not only unusual, it can't be done in the state of California," Brazleton said on the same program. And in an earlier appearance on CNN he suggested the move might be a publicity stunt.

"I definitely got the feeling that they weren't familiar with the law, or if they were, they were disregarding it and doing something that would get media attention, which it did," Brazleton said.

The district attorney said he told Smith's lawyers the police department must first perform an investigation of the allegations and then a civil grand jury may consider the matter.

Condit has come under close scrutiny since the disappearance of former government intern Chandra Levy about four months ago. His conduct during the investigation into Levy's disappearance has also been questioned.

In several recent interviews, Condit denied having had a romantic relationship with Smith, insisted he never asked her to mislead authorities, and suggested she was telling her story for financial gain.

Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday night, Chad Condit, the lawmaker's adult son, made similar claims.

"I mean, it's obvious what it's about," the younger Condit said. "It's not about finding Chandra Levy."

Pressed by King about whether he believed she was making money from the controversy, the son replied, "We don't know who's made money. There has been a lot of people making money off this."

Smith said she was "appalled" by the implication she would seek to profit from the controversy.

"I'm working two jobs right now to try to make ends meet," she said. "I missed the whole month of July from work. And I'm working two jobs. I'm getting up at about 4:30 in the morning to help my neighbor with his coffee bar. There is no way I made any money off of this. I mean, the idea is ludicrous."

Condit, 53 and married, faces increasing criticism on the Levy matter, especially after a series of interviews widely seen collectively as a public relations disaster. Many lawmakers and political pundits said Condit seemed evasive in his answers. Several Republicans have called for his resignation.

Many top Democrats no longer give Condit even a lukewarm endorsement, saying it is up to him and his constituents to decide what his political future will be.

Various polls show support for Condit is declining in his 18th Congressional District in the Central Valley area.






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