Senate panel to check Williams on ethics issue

The Senate Ethics Committee voted unanimously to investigate possible ethical violations by Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr. (D) of New Jersey, the lone senator convicted in the Abscam scandal. The committee, which met behind closed doors, planned to draft a formal resolution notifying Sen. Williams of its inquiry -- which could lead to his expulsion from Congress. The panel will also begin a search for a special counsel to conduct the probe.

Williams was convicted last week on all charges in a nine-count indictment stemming from the FBI Abscam corruption investigation. The 22-year Senate veteran, said the committee's decision was appropriate "give n the verdict from the jury," and he will cooperate with the probe.

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