Attorneys for the Keating Five senators asked for exoneration from the Senate Ethics Committee Wednesday, contending their clients behaved properly in their dealings on behalf of savings and loan executive Charles H. Keating Jr.

The ethics panel heard final arguments from defense attorneys and hoped to conclude lengthy public hearings in the case before beginning private deliberations on a decision.Two of the five senators under investigation, Sens. John Glenn, D-Ohio, and Donald Riegle, D-Mich., were in the hearing room for their final arguments.

Wednesday's arguments were the culmination of two months of public, televised hearings and more than a year of committee investigation into allegations the senators improperly intervened with federal regulators on behalf of Keating, a savings and loan owner who was a major financial contributor to their campaigns.

John Dowd, attorney for Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, defended McCain's actions as proper and principled in dealings on behalf of Keating and his Lincoln Savings and Loan.

Charles Ruff, attorney for Glenn, said Glenn had followed the highest ethical standards and that nothing in eight weeks of testimony indicated otherwise.

Tom Green, attorney for Riegle, defended Riegle's actions as proper and noted he was the only one of the five senators who attended just one - and not two - meetings with federal regulators on behalf of Keating.

Final arguments began after committee special counsel Robert S. Bennett on Tuesday presented the case against three of the five senators under investigation for their intervention with federal regulators on behalf of Keating.