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Dear Friends,

Many of you have written and expressed concern that, with my departure, you'd lose a voice on behalf of the important issues in Congress that we all care so much about.

The good news is that you need not fear, because today I announced my enthusiastic support for Ted Deutch to succeed me in Congress. Ted is a young State Senator who is a leader of the next generation of progressive American lawmakers.  He is a strong and bold progressive who has spent the last three years taking on Republicans in Florida.  As a Congressman, I believe he'll be an excellent champion of progressive ideals and true accountability.

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Dear Friends,

We are on the cusp of perhaps the most significant development in our multi-year quest for accountability:

Multiple sources are reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is likely to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate possible crimes committed by and under the authority of the Bush Administration – particularly as they relate to the use of torture.

Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind: such an appointment is critical to the integrity of our system of government.   As you know, I have been pushing for such accountability for quite some time.

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We are a nation of laws – pure and simple.

Not even the most powerful among us - the President of the United States - can unilaterally disregard or ignore the law without consequence.  Watergate should have settled any debate on the issue once and for all.

Yet somehow - three decades after Nixon outrageously stated, "when the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal," we get this truly remarkable statement from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that echoes Richard Nixon and presents a profoundly alarming view of the powers of the presidency.

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Dear Friends,

Today, I introduced legislation, H. Res 383, that will help ensure that the torture and abuses that occurred during the Bush Administration will never happen again.

Co-Sponsored with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Chairman John Conyers, this legislation establishes a bi-partisan Select Committee tasked with making comprehensive recommendations on our national security policy - including those covering laws on torture, FISA law violations, wiretapping, civil liberties protections, among others. This committee would have all of the power of a standing committee, including subpoena power.

This legislation is critical and I ask for your support to help pass it.

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Dear Friends,

Yesterday, I signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Bush Administration and Justice Department's role in authorizing torture. With the release of the so-called "Torture Memos" last week, and the instrumental role that Bush Administration Justice Department and Executive Branch officials had in orchestrating and approving these techniques, it is evident to me that we need an independent investigation into this troubling series of events that have damaged our national security and diminished our nation before the eyes of the world.

Click here to view the text of the letter I sent to Attorney General Holder.

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Dear Friends,

In less than one week, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States and the Bush Administration will come to an end.  

As we celebrate the beginning of what will be a transformational American presidency, it is important to recognize the numerous vital changes that will occur immediately when the 44th President takes the oath of office.

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This is the moment.

We hold in our hands the power to change the course of our nation and our world.

This is the moment we vanquish the legacy of wrongheaded, special-interest driven politics in Washington DC that has tarnished our Constitution, given hand-outs to those who don't need it, and divided America for partisan gain.

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Dear Friends,

When history is written about America in the Bush years, it will be a dark chapter indeed. Particularly, as we uncover more and more terrible facts about how this President and this Administration have corrupted our Constitution and betrayed the principles that have made this nation so great.

It was revealed this week that President Bush gave written approval to the CIA to conduct torture.

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Dear Friends,
Finally, the cold hard truth is coming out:  Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Bush Justice Department fired people for blatantly partisan purposes - breaking the law and injecting politics into our justice system. (A system which can only function in a democracy when it is free from partisan corruption.)

It is sad that none of us are the least bit surprised.  This week, Glenn Fine, the Inspector General, assigned to investigate the politicization of the Justice Department released a critically important 392 page report.

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Over the past several weeks, there has been a growing debate in Congress, the blogosphere and throughout the media about a controversial non-binding resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 362), which expresses the sense of Congress regarding the threat Iran's nuclear pursuit poses to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States.

This resolution's introduction and the subsequent debates that have taken place across the country have come at a time when the United States faces grave security challenges. It also comes at a time when Congress and the US must be especially careful -- given the monumental foreign policy failures of President Bush -- and remain vigilant in deciding which direction to take our nation, especially as it relates to our policy in Iran.  

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Dear Friends,

Last night, while in NY, I had a whirlwind tour of a number of studios - not least of which my good friend Stephen Colbert.

Suffice to say, this time, I declined his invitation to "repeat after me."  I had a great time though, and if you haven't seen the interview, I'm sure it's available online.

However, I thought you'd be most interested in the fact that I took my argument for Impeachment Hearings straight into the heart of conservative media: Fox News.

Yes... they actually let me in the building.  Twice.

On both Hannity and Colmes as well as this morning on Fox and Friends, I explained my belief that Congress has no choice but to address these's obvious and deliberate abuses of power.

I argued that we can protect our nation - and still adhere to the Constitution.

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Congressman Wexler Statement on the FISA “Compromise”:

I cannot in good conscience support the so-called FISA “compromise” bill, as the only thing that is really being compromised is our civil rights.

In spite of the earnest hard work of many Members of Congress, the President has continued to demand that Congress rubber-stamp his illegal wiretapping program.

Every American wants to protect our country from terrorists; but, the President is not asking for tools to thwart terrorists. He is demanding unchecked power. He expects the Congress to throw out even the most modest, expedited court review on the absurd premise that a specially designed court with over 30 years of experience handling surveillance requests is suddenly going to bring our nation’s intelligence operations to a standstill.
 
The rights of everyday Americans are at issue here, and full accountability needed. A court that is given full and appropriate review of the particular circumstances in each case is the only appropriate venue for making decisions about immunity for actions that may or may not have violated the civil liberties of some individuals.

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