Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii Monday defended the integrity and actions of the the `Keating Five' senators who tried to help savings and loan owner Charles Keating Jr., saying they did not exceed normal Senate conduct.
"Sir, I believe what is on trial here is not the five colleagues of mine but the U.S. Senate, and for that matter the Congress of the United States," Inouye said.The testimony came as federal law enforcement sources confirmed that the FBI was examining the conduct of the five senators in connection with its ongoing investigation of alleged bank fraud by Keating.
But it could not be determined if the FBI had found any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the five senators.
The senators' dealings with Keating are an aspect of the broader inquiry into allegations of financial wrongdoing at Lincoln Savings & Loan and American Continental Corp.
The Washington Times reported that the FBI is focusing on allegations of vote trading and bribery against two of the senators, Democrats Alan Cranston of California and Dennis DeConcini of Arizona.