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Read the scathing letter from GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s ‘disgusted’ family members disowning him for going against Trump

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 2/16/2021 Nicole Lyn Pesce
Adam Kinzinger wearing a suit and tie sitting in a chair © kevin dietsch/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

This Illinois Republican is being shunned by both his family and his party.

Eleven of Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s relatives signed and delivered a handwritten, two-page letter calling him a “disgrace” and “embarrassment” to the family name last month, outraged over his calls for former President Trump’s removal from office following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In the letter shared with the New York Times, the furious family members call for Kinzinger’s own removal from office, and accuse him of joining the “devil’s army,” which they describe as “Democrats and the fake news media.”

Kinzinger’s cousin, Karen Otto, told the paper that she paid $7 to send the letter by certified mail to the lawmaker’s father, and also mailed copies to members of the Illinois congressional delegation, because “I wanted Adam to be shunned.”

The paper published the letter in full, which can be read here:

The letter opens by calling Kinzinger a “disappointment” to the family “and to God” — with “disappointment” underlined three times, and “God” underlined once. It concedes that Trump “is not perfect,” but that “it is not for us to judge or be judged!”

The Times called Kinzinger “enemy No. 1,” noting he was recently censured by Republican officials in his district after he voted to impeach Trump a second time. (A censure is when a government group publicly reprimands a government official in a formal statement; there are no formal consequences.) What’s more, he’s launched a political action committee to counter Trump’s influence on the Republican party.

Related: Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger starts PAC to counter Trump’s influence

The letter and Kinzinger’s name went viral on Twitter on Tuesday morning, with many readers lamenting that they have lost friends and split from family members over politics, too.

“That letter says things my mom said to me and we’re not even Christian!” one commentator commiserated.

These divides run both ways, however, with some Trump critics admitting that they’ve shunned family members who supported the former president. “I did the disowning and cutting off” of my friends and family, wrote one. “They told me who they were, and I believed them.”

Some readers invited Kinzinger to join their families, instead. “He’s welcome at my home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He can even sit at the head of the table,” reads one tweet.

Kinzinger isn’t the only Republican in the crosshairs after Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial over the weekend. Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey was censured by GOP officials in some Pennsylvania counties after he joined seven Republican senators in voting to convict Trump of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol.

Read more: Trump avoids conviction in second impeachment trial with 57-43 vote in Senate

“As far as we’re concerned, his political career is over in this state, even if he were to try to run again,” said Washington County GOP chairman Dave Ball. “His legacy is tarnished beyond repair.”

Kinzinger recognized that voting to impeach Trump could be “terminal” to his career, but he told the Hill that, “The bottom line is I’m fine if I’m not reelected because I can look at myself in the mirror and I feel real peace.”


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