11 Relatives Disavow GOP Lawmaker Over His Vote to Impeach Trump

Many of the 17 Republican lawmakers who broke with their party and voted against Donald Trump in his second impeachment have been receiving backlash from voters, from their own party — and for at last one lawmaker — from his own family members.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger has recently become one of the most prominent GOP lawmakers to speak out against Trump, 74, and the callous wave of conservative politics he epitomizes.

Kinzinger, 42, was one of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection" in the wake of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot by the former president's supporters. (Seven Republican senators subsequently voted to convict Trump at his trial.)

In a Monday New York Times profile about Kinzinger's anti-Trump position and the bruising backlash he has faced, he revealed that nearly a dozen have since disavowed him over last month's impeachment vote.

"Oh, what a disappointment you are to us and to God!" two of Kinzinger's cousins wrote in a letter to the six-term Congressman. Eleven of his family members signed the letter, according to the Times.

The paper published a copy of the letter, which had been mailed to Kinzinger's father and a number of Republicans across the state.

"You have embarrassed the Kinzinger family name!" the letter states, adding, "President Trump is not perfect, but neither are you or any of us for that matter!"

Kinzinger told the Times the letter was a result of what he called his family's "brainwashing" under the past four years of Trump.

"I hold nothing against them, but I have zero desire or feel the need to reach out and repair that," Kinzinger told the paper. "That is 100 percent on them to reach out and repair, and quite honestly, I don't care if they do or not."

Elsewhere, Kinzinger has broken from other Republicans in responding to newly elected lawmakers like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who have a history of speaking positively about conspiracy theories.

Kinzinger was also one of three House Republicans who voted to kick Greene off her committee posts, in light of her incendiary behavior on social media. (Greene has claimed that other people had access to her social media and said some of her activity as being unfairly singled out.)

Two GOP-led counties in Illinois voted to censure Kinzinger since last month's impeachment vote — mirroring Republican censures around the country against GOP lawmakers who broke with Trump.

Kinzinger, a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, told the Times he may consider leaving the Republican Party later this year. But he said, "I'm going to fight like hell to save it first."

He told PEOPLE last year — during an interview about the QAnon conspiracy theory's recent rise in Republican politics — that it was incumbent upon members of the GOP to call out other members who were touting conspiratorial beliefs or basing policy on what might go over well in a tweet with their constituents.

"It's about leadership," Kinzinger said then. "It's incumbent upon you to keep your house in order."

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