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Flashback: Inouye Defended Harrison Williams

Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye was one of the few Senators to defend Ted Stevens, urging the Alaska Republican to hold the fort until all appeals were exhausted.

But it wasn't the first time he had played defense for a colleague accused of ethical/criminal wrongdoing.

A quarter century ago, the highly-decorated World War II veteran known for his fierce loyalty, went to the wall for New Jersey Democratic Sen. Harrison Williams, defending him against bribery charges in the FBI's ABSCAM sting.

Williams, who was caught taking cash on videotape, eventually stepped down after a long Senate ethics committee probe.

Inouye on Stevens, 2008:

“I am absolutely confident that Ted Stevens will be sworn into the Senate while he appeals this unjust verdict,” said Senator Inure. “I am certain that this decision in Washington, D.C., will be overturned on appeal.”

Inouye on Williams, 1982:

"The FBI created a trap and then goaded . . . members of Congress into that trap. It could happen to any of us. I don't believe a Senator should be expelled for being a fool."

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