Lott suggested that the Keating Five senators may have been forced to seek an unusual meeting with Gray because he was not reading their letters. "How else is a senator or a congressman to get the chief regulator's attention?" he asked.
DeConcini's lawyer, James Hamilton, suggested that Gray may have misinterpreted the request that the senator made of him during the April 2 meeting. All four senators either have denied that DeConcini made the request or have said that they do not recall it.
Hamilton noted that a transcript of a meeting a week later with other bank board officials shows that DeConcini did not ask for the regulation to be withdrawn but only that Lincoln be given some leeway.
But Gray insisted that he was asked by DeConcini to withdraw the regulation, an action that he contended would have been illegal.
In questioning the former thrift regulator, Rudman named each of the four senators at the April 2 meeting separately and asked Gray if he believed they had done or said "anything you felt was improper?"
Gray replied "no" when asked about Glenn and McCain. He said that Cranston "asked me questions--it was not improper." But when DeConcini's name was mentioned, he replied: "Yes. He asked me to withdraw a duly authorized regulation."
The regulation questioned by DeConcini was important because it sought to prevent savings and loans from making risky investments far removed from traditional home mortgages, Gray said.