House Republican Shunned by Family Members Over Trump Criticism

February 16, 2021 Updated: February 16, 2021

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is facing criticism from family members after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump last month, according to a letter published this week.

Kinzinger’s cousin Karen Otto and 10 other relatives mailed him a handwritten letter, telling him: “We were once so proud of your accomplishments! Instead, you go against your Christian principles and join the ‘Devil’s army’ (Democrats and the fake news media).”

Otto told the New York Times, which published the letter (pdf), that she “wanted Adam to be shunned.”

Relatives wrote that Trump isn’t perfect and neither is Kinzinger. They accused him of being brainwashed and judging a fellow Christian and questioned his faith.

“It is now most embarrassing to us that we are related to you. You have embarrassed the Kinzinger family name!” they added.

Otto couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kinzinger, 42, wrote in a tweet that he is ok.

“I’m ok, more sad that someone would be willing to choose a man over family. And sad that it’s happening to so many,” he wrote.

Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, along with every single Democrat in the House.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” he said in a statement before the vote, referring to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Kinzinger also called on the Senate to convict Trump. The Senate acquitted the former president on Saturday.

He also started a political action committee that is meant to oppose the GOP’s embrace of Trump.

The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, along with the seven GOP senators who voted to convict him, have faced strong backlash from within their party, where Trump remains enormously popular.

Many have been censured by county or state Republican groups. Some have seen new challengers announce bids.

Kinzinger, like all House members, is up for re-election in two years. He first entered office in 2011, representing Illinois’ 11th Congressional District. He currently represents the state’s 16th Congressional District. Kinzinger has not committed to another run and is considering switching parties.

“The party’s sick right now,” he told the New York Times. “It’s one thing if the party was accepting of different views, but it’s become this massive litmus test on everything. So it’s a possibility down the road, but it’s certainly not my intention, and I’m going to fight like hell to save it first.”

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