Relatives condemn Congressman Adam Kinzinger in letter

Cousin says Kinzinger joined ‘the devil’s army’ with his recent campaign away from Donald Trump

Congressman Adam Kinzinger has faced criticism among the GOP for voting in favor of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment and starting a new campaign to move away from Trump’s politics. Now, the New York Times reports that his family also is chastising him.

In a letter dated Jan. 8 – two days after the U.S. Capitol insurrection – Kinzinger’s cousins, Greg and Karen Otto, called the Channahon Republican a disappointment “to us and to God,” saying that his political actions go against his Christian principles and that he’s joined “the devil’s army.” The letter was sent as certified mail to Kinzinger’s father, who has run Christian nonprofit organizations, as well as to other Republicans across Illinois, the New York Times reported.

Kinzinger launched a national campaign recently in an attempt to steer the Republican party away from Trump in the wake of the Capitol attack. Kinzinger was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of both Trump’s second impeachment and the removal of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Georgia, from her committee posts.

“How do you call yourself a Christian when you join the devil’s army believing in abortion!” the Ottos wrote in a letter signed by other relatives whose names were redacted because the New York Times didn’t interview them for the article. “We thought you were ‘smart’ enough to see how the left is brainwashing ‘so many good people’ including yourself and many other GOP members.”

(Kinzinger has a record of being anti-abortion.)

The letter noted Trump’s Christianity, questioning Kinzinger about the last time he proclaimed his faith and noted that Kinzinger had lost the respect of Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Greg Kelly “and most importantly in our book Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and us!”

“It is now most embarrassing to us that we are related to you,” the letter said.

On Jan. 13, Kinzinger told Shaw Media and other outlets during a phone interview that he’s had family members create a petition to disown him for his views. At that time, he had become outspoken on social media and on TV news against the president’s reaction to the election results. He said he had people tell him they could no longer be friends with him.

“That’s emboldened me because we’re fighting against misinformation from Christians that have been misled,” Kinzinger said during the Jan. 13 interview. “When you look back when you’re 80 years old and wonder what you did with your life, if I didn’t take this position, I’d have regrets. I’ve gotten outrage, but I’ve also gotten input from people I expected to be mad that told me I was right.”

In response to Kinzinger’s impeachment vote and new campaign, the La Salle County Republican Central Committee voted to censure Kinzinger, and the Iroquois County GOP recently did so. Grundy County Republicans, however, voted not to censure the congressman.

In response, Kinzinger’s office released a statement again reiterating that the congressman is “at peace” with his vote to impeach the former president, saying he is “doing what is in the best interest of the people he serves and the country itself.”

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.