Republican Adam Kinzinger disowned by family members and told he’s ‘possessed by the devil’ for impeaching Trump

'It's been crazy, when you have friends — that you thought were good friends that would love you no matter what — that don't,' Illinois congressman says

Griffin Connolly
Sunday 31 January 2021 19:32 GMT
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Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has faced death threats, name-calling, and disownment from members of his family for being one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump earlier this month.

Mr Kinzinger was one of the first Republicans in Congress to forcefully condemn Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, denouncing the president’s disproven conspiracy theories about a “stolen election” and warning of the dangers of abetting such a movement.

The hate and vitriol has poured hard and steady on Mr Kinzinger after his vote on 13 January to impeach Mr Trump for “incitement to insurrection,” just a week after the then-president gave a speech to supporters who later invaded the US Capitol building.

Five people died as a direct result of the insurrection, including one US Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who will lie in honour in the Capitol this week. Two other USCP officers have committed suicide since the historic 6 January security breach.

In recent interviews with Politico and Business Insider, Mr Kinzinger offered a glimpse at the torrent of nastiness that has come his way since his impeachment vote.

“My dad's cousins sent me a petition — a certified letter — saying they disowned me because I'm in 'the devil's army' now,” the Illinois congressman told Business Insider in a phone conversation last Thursday. “It's been crazy, when you have friends — that you thought were good friends that would love you no matter what — that don't.”

Mr Kinzinger later told Politico that he was dismayed to see his Republicans colleagues appear to finally be ready to shake themselves of Mr Trump’s influence, only to then retreat back into the twice-impeached former president’s corner. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy visited Mr Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend, where the two had a “very good and cordial” discussion, according to a readout of the meeting. A photo of Mr Trump and Mr McCarthy smiling towards a camera accompanied that statement.

“I was disappointed over the last few weeks to see what seemed like the Republican Party waking up and then kind of falling asleep again and saying, ‘Well, you know, what matters if we can win in two years and we don't want to tick off the base,’” Mr Kinzinger told Politico.

“The photo … shows that the former president is desperate to continue looking like he’s leading the party,” Mr Kinzinger said.

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