Senators under investigation for helping Charles H. Keating Jr. battle federal banking regulators emotionally defended their integrity and denied any wrongdoing Friday before the Senate Ethics Committee.
"John Glenn does not peddle influence, period," the Ohio Democrat told the panel of fellow senators. Sen. Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich., held up a jigsaw puzzle and said the committee special counsel was missing some key pieces when he negatively described Riegle's conduct.The committee turned to personal defense statements by the "Keating Five" senators after the counsel, Robert Bennett, wound up 11/2 days detailing accusations and evidence against them.
In addition to Riegle and Glenn, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. and Alan Cranston, D-Calif. presented their statements.
The hearing adjourned until Monday, leaving only Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz. to make his defense statement.
Bennett concentrated on Cranston, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, on Friday, saying his help for Keating and the businessman's failing Lincoln Savings and Loan was "closely connected" to political donations from Keating.
Cranston, suffering from prostate cancer and making his first appearance at the hearings, was defiant in his denials.
"I engaged in no unethical conduct," he said firmly. "You know that I broke no law. . . . You know that I broke no Senate rule. . . . You know that I pocketed no money, that there was no personal gain for me or any member of my family."