Adam Kinzinger quietly leaves pro-Ukrainian volunteer group

 April 3, 2023

Anti-Trump Republican Adam Kinzinger parted ways "months ago" with a company supporting Ukraine that is now under federal investigation, a new report said. 

A spokesperson for CNN, where Kinzinger now works, confirmed he quietly resigned from the group Ripley's Heroes, the Daily Caller reported.

“Adam is not on the board of advisers of Ripley’s Heroes and hasn’t been for several months,” a CNN spokesperson told the DCNF.

Kinzinger quits

The group was mentioned in a New York Times article on the role of American volunteers in Ukraine, some of whom have been accused of exploiting the conflict for personal gain.

The report raised questions about Ripley's Heroes, founded last April in the early stages of the war by retired Marine Lt. Col. Hunter Ripley Rawlings IV.

The organization claims to have collected over $1 million to support Ukraine with non-lethal aid, but volunteers say the group hasn't provided proper documentation of the transactions. Some shipments remain unaccounted for, and the feds have opened an investigation.

Rawlings said the company is in the process of becoming a non-profit, but he didn't share proof with the Times.

He also founded a for-profit company he founded, Iron Forge, that he said will provide transportation for Ripley's Heroes using money from the charity. Iron Forge would refund Ripley's Heroes, he said.

Change of heart?

One of the group's biggest online promoters, an Army veteran named James Vasquez, has also come under scrutiny for allegedly exaggerating his military service.

Vasquez, who claimed to have served in Iraq and Kuwait, became known for his fundraising videos from the battlefield in Ukraine, where he has reportedly been fighting without a military contract.

Kinzinger vouched for Vasquez last year, calling him "legit," but Ripley's Heroes has since scrubbed references to him from its website. Vasquez has also been backed by MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance, himself accused of stolen valor, which is admittedly not much of an endorsement.

Kinzinger, now a CNN contributor, joined Ripley's Heroes in September, but he has since left without publicly addressing his decision. It's out of character for Kinzinger, known for self-righteous and vehemently commentary about Ukraine and "democracy" on Twitter and on cable news.

The former congressman and Russia hawk is a vehement critic of "America First" Republicans who have called for support to Ukraine to be curtailed or at least audited more carefully, given Ukraine's notorious problem with corruption.

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