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Kinzinger claims family shunned him for Trump impeachment vote

Rep. Adam Kinzinger has released a letter he alleges was sent to him by nearly a dozen family members shunning him over his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for the second time.

Kinzinger (R-Ill.) provided the letter to the New York Times, which published it on Monday. It was dated Friday, Jan. 8 and penned by Karen Otto, a cousin of the Illinois lawmaker.

“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,’” Otto wrote at the start of the correspondence, which was signed by 10 other relatives.

“We thought you were ‘smart’ enough to see how the left is brainwashing so many ‘so called good people’ including yourself and many other GOP members. You have even fallen for their socialism [sic] ideals,” she continued, calling his decisions, “So, so, sad!”

Otto then defended the former commander in chief’s reaction to his election loss, writing to the Illinois congressman, “President Trump is not perfect, but neither are you or any of us for that matter! It is not for us to judge or be judged! But he is a Christian!”

Turning her attention back to Kinzinger, Otto wrote, “It is now most embarrassing to us that we are related to you. You have embarrassed the Kinzinger family name! We are not judging you. This letter is our opinion of you!”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger was one of just three Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger was one of just three Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

“Oh, by the way, good luck in your fund raising endeavors. We are sure there are many other good GOP and Christian supporters,” she continued.

The Post has not been able to verify the authenticity of the letter.

Reps for Kinzinger could not immediately be reached for comment by The Post, nor could Otto.

Kinzinger was one of just three Republicans who voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment and strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments.

Trump was ultimately acquitted in a 57-43 vote in the Senate.

The six-term House Republican never warmed to the GOP president during his time in office, regularly criticizing the commander in chief for his rhetoric though not usually straying from him on critical party issues.

Reached by The Times for an interview, Otto said she paid $7 to send the letter to her politico cousin’s father in order to make sure the congressman would see it.

The effort worked, and Kinzinger saw the letter. She also sent copies, according to the paper, to Republicans across Illinois.

“I wanted Adam to be shunned,” she said when reached by the outlet.

For his part, the GOP lawmaker said his family members suffer from “brainwashing” from conservative churches they attend, which he alleges led them astray.

Kinzinger’s family was not the only group to disavow the GOP lawmaker after his impeachment vote.

President Donald Trump speaks at "Save America March" rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
President Donald Trump speaks at “Save America March” rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The House Republican was censured earlier this month by the LaSalle County Republican Central Committee, which represents his home district.

The censure was largely symbolic and does not actually threaten Kinzinger’s current hold on the seat.

What it could speak to, however, is whether he can keep Republican support with the state and local party.


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