Williams Abscam defense gets under way in Senate

Attorneys for Sen. Harrison Williams opened his defense before the Senate Ethics Committee against political corruption charges stemming from his conviction in the government's Abscam investigation. They attempted to cast doubt on whether Senator Williams had criminal intentions during his participation in the scheme, in which FBI agents disguised as rich Arab sheikhs attempted to buy congressional influence. The committee must decide whether Senator Williams, already convicted of bribery and conspiracy in court, violated the Senate's rules of conduct and, if found guilty, whether he shoul d be reprimanded, censured, or even expelled from the Senate

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