WASHINGTON -- The FBI inspected financial-disclosure statements last fall of five senators linked to jailed Arizona thrift mogul Charles H. Keating Jr., the Arizona Republic has learned.
The documents were requested in November at the height of the Keating affair by an FBI agent based near the Irvine, Calif., headquarters of Mr. Keating's failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.
FBI Special Agent Gary K. Morely, who is assigned to an FBI office in Santa Ana, Calif., requested the statements on the five senators' finances while in Washington on Nov. 9, 1989, according to a document-request form obtained by the Arizona Republic.
This is the FBI's first public disclosure supporting wire service reports from that time indicating the agency had begun an investigation of the roles the senators played in intervening with regulators.
Special Agent Morley pulled financial statements of Sens. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Alan Cranston, D-Calif.;Donald Riegle, D-Mich.; and John Glenn, D-Ohio. The documents broadly sketch assets, liabilities, speaking fees and gifts.
The five are being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee to determine whether they improperly intervened in 1987 with federal thrift regulators examining Lincoln in behalf of Mr. Keating, a major campaign contributor.
Federal regulators seized Lincoln in April 1989, and its collapse is expected to cost taxpayers at least $2 billion.
The senators have denied wrongdoing, saying there is no evidence their intervention foiled government efforts to seize Lincoln.
Mr. Keating is in jail in Los Angeles County awaiting an Oct. 5 arraignment on a criminal indictment. He is also the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe.