Cranston and two other members of the Intelligence Committee--Sens. John Glenn (D-Ohio) and Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.)--have recently been under investigation themselves. All three were targets of an Ethics Committee probe into the "Keating Five" scandal.
Before the President announced his decision, his most senior aides--Gates' boss Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser, and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu--consulted with key senators, among them Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David L. Boren (D-Okla.) and Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), the vice chairman.
Bush said he was "very, very pleased" with the results, and a White House aide reported: "They've both been thumbs up on it."
"This matter has been investigated over and over again, this Iran-Contra has been going on for years," Bush said. "And if I were worried about opening up Iran-Contra, you might suggest I wouldn't send that name forward. But this man has my full trust. He's honest. He's a man of total integrity."