Sen. William S. Cohen at hearing, Washington, D.C., 1987
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Sen. William S. Cohen of Bangor is shown at the U.S. Capitol during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, along with other senators and unidentified persons. The Iran-Contra affair refers to related events that began in early 1985 when members of the of the National Security Council became involved in the sale of arms to Iran and diverting a portion of the money from those sales to support the Contras, rebels fighting to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, of which Cohen was the ranking member, was one of several standing committees conducting preliminary investigations and issuing reports on these events.