A Republican congressman says he received a scathing letter from family members last month who said they were “embarrassed” to be related to him after he voted to impeach President Donald Trump on charges that he incited the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) shared the two-page, hand-written letter with the New York Times, who published a PDF of it alongside a profile of Kinzinger. The congressman says the letter was written by Kinzinger’s cousin, Karen Otto and signed by several other family members.
“Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us and to God!” the letter says. “Instead, you go against your Christian principals (sic) and join the ‘devil’s army’ (Democrats and the fake news media).”
The letter goes on to question how Kinzinger could call himself a Christian and choose not to support Trump.
“To embrace a party that believes in abortion and socialism is the ultimate sin,” the letter said.
The letter also says that Kinzinger should be “proud” that he has lost the respect of several conservative talk show hosts, including “most importantly in our book, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh.”
“We are thoroughly disgusted with you!!” the letter says in closing “And, oh, by the way, we are calling for your removal from office.”
Thank you, @GretchenCarlson 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. https://t.co/yx3XbsKjmm— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 16, 2021
Kinzinger told the New York Times that he doesn’t hold anything against the family members that signed the letter, but doesn’t expect to repair the relationship any time soon.
"I hold nothing against them," he said. "But I have zero desire or feel the need to reach out and repair that. That is 100% on them to reach out and repair, and quite honestly, I don't care if they do or not."
Kinzinger, one of the few Republican lawmakers who has pushed back against some of Trump’s policies, was one of 10 GOP House members to vote to impeach on Jan. 13. He’s told CNN that he’s aware that his vote to impeach could prove fatal to his career moving forward.
"I did it knowing full well it could very well be terminal to my career," Kinzinger told CNN. "But I also knew that I couldn't live with myself having, you know, try to just protect it and just felt like the one time I was called to do a really tough duty, I didn't do it."
Read the letter from Kinzinger's family below.