Kinzinger’s relatives write second letter slamming him for Trump impeachment vote

The relatives said Kinzinger was “misled” and “brainwashed” and “manipulated” by Democrats and the “fake news media” in the Jan. 19 letter, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger in a photo from a six-minute video in which he is starting “a movement” to reclaim the GOP from fringe elements.

Photo by Matthew Sprague

WASHINGTON — Eleven members of the family of Rep. Adam Kinzinger wrote not one, but two letters excoriating the Illinois Republican for voting to impeach ex-President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

The relatives said Kinzinger was “misled” and “brainwashed” and “manipulated” by Democrats and the “fake news media” in the handwritten, two-page letter to him, dated Jan. 19 and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

They accused him of giving up his “Christian [principles] for self-gain” and called him a “Rino.” The cousins used that disparaging term — shorthand for “Republican in Name Only” - to incorrectly describe an anti-abortion lawmaker who is a faithful and strong supporter of conservative policies and legislation.

“We will be praying that the Lord will ‘lead you Out of Darkness,’” the Kinzinger relatives wrote on Jan. 19.

On Jan. 13, Kinzinger, 42, first elected to Congress in 2010, was one of 10 House Republicans to join with Democrats to impeach Trump for a second time.

His relatives accused him of joining the “devil’s army” in the first letter, also handwritten, dated Jan. 8 and highlighted in a New York Times front-page Kinzinger profile on Tuesday.

Kinzinger has been in the national spotlight since the end of January, when he launched “Country First,” the first step of his plans-in-the-works to create a movement to reclaim the Republican Party from conspiracy theorists and the forces leading to the Capitol siege.

He is aiming to counter Trump, who on Saturday was found not guilty following his Senate trial of inciting the insurrection in the Capitol that left five people dead.

Trump’s grip on the GOP remains strong as he seeks revenge on Republicans who have turned on him. Trump blistered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday because he said Trump was guilty — though he voted to acquit. “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack,” Trump said in a statement.

“Country First” is being bankrolled by Kinzinger’s Future First political action committee. Over the weekend, Kinzinger raised $50,000 in 24 hours for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington State Republican, a Kinzinger spokesman told the Sun-Times.

She is the target of pro-Trump forces because Trump impeachment prosecutors introduced into evidence on Saturday her revelations about how Trump refused to try to stop the rioters during a call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Kinzinger had said his relatives were misled after their first letter.

The relatives, reacting in their Jan. 19 letter, “Seriously, Adam, really! You are the one being misled (brainwashed) by the Democrats and the fake news media. Again, we thought you were ‘smart enough’ to realize they were manipulating your mind. We have not disowned you, you have disowned yourself.”

“ … If anyone is inciting violence and dividing this country it is … the fake news media and the Democrats!! It is beyond our comprehension that you have submitted and conformed to the leftist Democrats’ ideals. The fact that you have done this is reprehensible.”

The Sun-Times was not successful Tuesday night in reaching any of the 11 relatives who signed the letter.

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