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Dear Sen.

The Appointments Clause of the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) gives the President the
right to appoint officials to departments and agencies in the Executive Branch with the advise and
consent of the U.S. Senate. America has a tradition: in only the most extreme occasions does the
Senate reject a Presidents appointees. Elections have consequences. Unless a nominee for a
position that requires the confirmation of the Senate is clearly unknowledgeable, incapable of
discharging their duties, may not support the Constitution against a foreign enemy, or is under
indictment for a federal crime, the Senate respects the Presidents selections for Cabinet positions.
However, Mr. Rex Tillerson, President Trumps nominee for Secretary of State, is not fit for the
position he has been nominated to serve in. We urge Sen. Rubio to vote against Mr. Tillersons
nomination in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC). If Mr. Tillersons nomination makes
it out of committee, we urge Sen. Rubio to filibuster Mr. Tillersons nomination on the floor of the
Senate. Sen. Rubio owes this to his constituents as well as the people who supported his
Presidential campaign.
To be clear, there is no evidence that Mr. Tillerson is mentally unfit, nor is there any suggestion that
he is a criminal of any sort whatsoever. We question whether he has the knowledge to be an
effective Secretary of State. Furthermore, we find his ties to the government of Russia to be
In an April 2016 speech to the Center for the National Interest, then-candidate Trump stated, I will ...
look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself
with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long
history of failed policies and continued losses at war.
There is no question that the policies that lead to the 2003 war in Iraq were disastrous. However,
Mr. Tillersons confirmation hearings failed to unearth much in the way of counter-intuitive thinking
about foreign policy or Americas role in the world. Instead, they were laden with verbal gymnastics
designed to defend his role as head of ExxonMobil. For all of the problems with the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Mr. Tillerson was not aware that it does not allow Iran to
outright purchase a nuclear weapon on the open market.
Second, Mr. Tillerson was quick to scrap Americas longstanding, bipartisan commitment to the
defense of human rights around the world. He did not acknowledge human rights abuses in states
from the Philippines to Russia

to Saudi Arabia. This is a disqualification for any nominee for

Secretary of State.
Third, the most troubling aspect of Mr. Tillersons nomination is his longstanding business
relationship with the Russian government. A comprehensive understanding of the inner-workings of
the Kremlin is welcome and can be productive. However, the possession of a vested business
interest with the Russian government is, at best, troubling. Non-partisan assessments of Russian
intentions have concluded that Moscow is the primary threat to American national security. The
possibility of a Secretary of State who may repeat, may place personal profit over national duty is
simply too great a risk to our countrys well-being.
Unless Mr. Tillersons nomination is withdrawn (either by President Trump or Mr. Tillerson himself),
we strongly urge Sen. Rubio to vote against Mr. Tillersons nomination in the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee (SFRC) and, if necessary, to filibuster the nomination on the floor of the U.S.