Williams resigns from Senate

Saying, ''I leave in good spirits,'' Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr. (D) of New Jersey ended a week-long ordeal in the United States Senate by resigning his seat.

His decision avoided almost certain expulsion by his colleagues. Senator Williams has been convicted and sentenced to prison in charges stemming from the FBI Abscam bribery probe.

In all, seven members of Congress were snared in the Abscam web. All but Senator Williams, the only senator, had already left Capitol Hill.

Williams would have been the first senator to be expelled in 120 years. His colleagues have repeatedly said during the past week of expulsion debate that it was ''sad'' and ''painful,'' but few rose to defend Williams, who was charged with promising to use his office to gain personal wealth.

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