Meet Adam Kinzinger, The Republican Senator Shunned By His Family After Voting To Impeach Trump

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Adam Kinzinger

Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger, one of the ten house Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, has faced backlash not only from the GOP but from his own relatives.

Congressman Kinzinger, who is in his sixth term as representative for Illinois’s Sixteenth District and serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, was spurned by multiple family members in a scathing letter posted in early January.

The handwritten message accused him of joining the “devil’s army” and committing the “ultimate sin” by denouncing former president Donald Trump.

The letter, which was penned by Kinzinger’s cousin Karen Otto and reportedly signed by 11 members of his extended family, called the congressman’s accusations against Donald Trump “horrible and rude.”

Its author praised the former president’s Christian faith. In response to Trump’s not-so-Christian actions, Karen ironically proclaimed that “it is not for us to judge or be judged.”

Otto also alleged that “many more family members” of Kinzinger’s feel the same way as those who signed the letter.

“We are calling for your removal from office,” the enraged relatives continued in a furious “P.S.”

Kinzinger has opposed Trump for years.

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The 42-year-old politician, who just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his wife Sofia on Feb. 15th, has been consistently critical of the former president.

The congressman reportedly told CNN in 2016 that then-candidate Trump was, in his opinion, “Beginning to cross a lot of red lines of the unforgivable in politics."

He was the first Republican legislator to make a public demand for Trump’s removal after the Capitol insurrection.

Kinzinger was swift to blame then-President Trump for Jan. 6th’s catastrophic riots, posting an emotional video on Twitter the very next day in which he called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked. 

“All indications are that the president has become unmoored,” Kinzinger said, “not just from his duty, or even his health, but from reality itself.”

“It is for this reason that I call for the vice president and members of the Cabinet to ensure that the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane captain of the ship.”

Kinzinger witnessed the Capitol insurrection himself, and said that he was far from surprised by the violence that took place, as he had “been watching the rhetoric leading up to that day, and took it seriously.”

In an interview for Showtime’s The Circus, the congressman revealed that he told his staff to stay home on Jan. 6, and even admitted he had brought his firearm to work in fear he would have to defend himself against violence.

Kinzinger stated on Twitter that he felt “real evil” on that day.

On January 13, Adam Kinzinger became one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Trump on grounds of inciting insurrection, alongside Liz Cheney of Wyoming and South Carolina’s Tom Rice.

RELATED: 6 Pieces Of Evidence That Prove Trump Is Guilty Of Inciting The Capitol Riots — And Should Be Impeached

Trump was acquitted on Saturday, Feb. 13, following a four-day-long trial in which the prosecution presented evidence that many considered damning. 

Although over half of the senate voted to convict the former president, they failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required to uphold the action.

Kinzinger has since expressed his regret regarding the not-guilty verdict. 

In a statement released the same day as the trial’s conclusion, the congressman wrote, “I am disappointed that the Senate was unwilling to hold former President Trump accountable for his actions.”

“I will be looking at alternate options to ensure responsibility and accountability so that what happened on January 6, 2021 will never happen again,” Kinzinger declared.

In the following days, he has taken to TV interviews and talk shows to denounce Trump and spread his message of possible redemption for the Republican party.

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The Illinois representative is unbothered by his family’s disavowal.

Kinzinger told the New York Times that the family members responsible for the letter were victims of “brainwashing” by conservative churches. 

“I hold nothing against them,’’ the Illinois representative said, “But I have zero desire or feel the need to reach out and repair that. That is 100 percent on them to reach out and repair, and quite honestly, I don’t care if they do or not.”

Kinzinger has taken further strides to disempower Donald Trump.

He started a political action committee called Country First with the goal of leading the Republican party away from the chaos and division of the Trump-era.

“Hope has given way to fear,” Kinzinger lamented of the party, which he said once drew him in with promises of a dazzling future for the American people.

Kinzinger revealed to the Times that he might consider changing his party affiliation if the GOP persists in predominantly supporting Trump, but that he hopes instead that the party can be led in a different and brighter direction.

“I am going to fight like hell to save (the Republican party),” he told interviewers.

Adam Kinzinger is well aware that he risks more than his family by standing up for what he believes is right – he is also jeopardizing his political career.

However, the congressman stands by his actions

“The losses I’ll face pale in comparison to the stakes here,” Kinzinger said.

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Allie McGlone is a writer who covers a variety of topics for YourTango, including pop culture and entertainment.