Contents: Correspondence, memoranda, printed documents, newspaper clippings.
Arrangement: The contents of the subseries are arranged in alphabetical sequences with folder contents in reverse chronological order.
Description: The investigations which gained Senator Williams his reputation as "The Conscience of the Senate" are documented in the series of Special Investigations Files. The three subseries include correspondence and tips from informants, reports and printed documents, hearing transcripts, data, newspaper clippings, and other background material collected in the process of the investigations.
The first subseries, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), documents Senator Williams's early 1949-1952 investigation into corruption in the offices of regional tax collectors. The investigation was nationwide and the files include extensive leads from citizens and government employees charging conflict of interest, bribery, negligence, and other abuses from tax officials. Among the regular correspondents was Ted Link, an investigative journalist who provided Senator Williams with information on developments in the regional tax office in St. Louis.
The BIR files include one folder of index cards to names in the files, a state sequence consisting of substantial correspondence and leads from citizens reporting to Senator Williams from around the country, an alphabetical sequence of name and subject files, and a sequence of miscellaneous constituent correspondence. The bulk of the files date from 1951- 1952, the period when the tax scandals were investigated by the Subcommittee on Administration of the Internal Revenue Laws of the House Ways and Means Committee, but also contain later material dating to 1969.
The second subseries concerns the Bobby Baker investigation. In the early 1960s, Williams initiated inquiries into the unethical behavior of senate staff member Robert G. (Bobby) Baker. The files of this subseries include the information which prompted the investigation, press clippings which followed disclosure of the case, and memoranda and correspondence with the Rules Committee which document the Senator's role as instigator of the investigation.
The files also include a folder of index cards to names in the files, and transcripts of hearings before the Rules Committee. Related material in the Williams Papers is found in the files of the Rules Committee in the Legislative Correspondence series. The large volume of constituent correspondence in those files reflects the favorable public response to Senator Williams's role in fighting corruption in government.
The Medicare investigation into charges of widespread fraud in the Medicare systems was a large-scale project begun in the late 1960s as part of Senator Williams's work for the Fiance Committee. These files consist of two filing sequences--one filed alphabetically by state with reports of local fraud, and a second sequence filed alphabetically by topics and names. The bulk of these files date from 1969-1970.