‘What A Disappointment You Are’: Kinzinger Family Lashes Out After Impeachment Vote

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 30: Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., left, and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., attend a news conference on the China Task Force report in the Capitol’s Rayburn Room on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The report outlines bipartisan action to combat threats from China. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 30: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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February 16, 2021 11:52 a.m.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the US. Capitol last month, was recently rebuked by some members of his family for becoming an increasingly outspoken critic of the former president. 

Days after the six-term Illinois lawmaker urged Trump’s removal from office for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, close to a dozen members of his family sent him a handwritten letter, shaming him for siding with “‘the devil’s army.'”

“Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God! We were once so proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christian principals [sic] and join the ‘devil’s army’ (Democrats and the fake news media),” the group wrote in a letter first published by The New York Times.

According to the Times, the letter was written by Kinzinger’s cousin Karen Otto. The letter which was signed by 11 members of the lawmaker’s family, was also distributed to Illinois Republicans, that her cousin had “embarrassed the Kinzinger name!”

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The condemnation by members of his own family comes as Kinzinger grows increasingly isolated in a party that has done little to challenge some of its own elected officials who have endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories.

In an interview with the Washington Post last month, after becoming just one of six House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president, Kinzinger said he was prepared to lose his political career over an effort to steer the Republican Party back to its core values after it was ravaged by election falsehoods.

Kinzinger took those efforts a step further when he voted to strip conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments. 

Since then, the Illinois lawmaker launched a new political action committee with a six-minute video declaring the need to reject the conspiracy theories that have unmoored the party.

Kinzinger told the Times in an interview that he hopes to topple the “fear” tactics that Trump has used to sustain his stronghold in the party and that “does real damage to this democracy.”

Kinzinger has said that focus lies neither with angry GOP leaders in his district nor with the letter-writers in his family, whom he suggested suffer from “brainwashing” from conservative churches.

Instead he is increasingly concerned with repairing the Republican Party and may be faced with deciding whether or not he can remain a member of the GOP if Trump’s legacy endures in Congress.

“The party’s sick right now,” he told the Times. 

Kinzinger added that while a change in party affiliation was “a possibility down the road,” he would “fight like hell to save it first.”

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