BY Samantha Chang, The Western JournalMarch 27, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | March 27, 2023
1 year ago

RINO Adam Kinzinger Sits on Board of Organization Under Federal Investigation: 'Absent Paper Trail' - Report

CNN's token RINO commentator Adam Kinzinger — who has repeatedly accused former President Donald Trump of being a scam artist — sits on the advisory board of Ripley's Heroes, a pro-Ukraine fundraising group being accused of scamming donors.

Interestingly, the former Republican congressman from Illinois — who tweets often — had not addressed the scandal on his Twitter account by Monday morning, even though he took time to take repeated digs at Trump this weekend.

In an exposé headlined "Stolen Valor: The U.S. Volunteers in Ukraine Who Lie, Waste and Bicker," The New York Times spotlighted the alleged financial abuses and nefarious backgrounds of individuals associated with several pro-Ukraine fundraising groups.

Among them is Ripley's Heroes, of which Kinzinger is a board member, according to a September news release from the organization.

The Times' investigation, which did not mention the former congressman, found that several organizations that raise money to send weapons and volunteers to fight for Ukraine resemble money-laundering-style operations mired by greed and infighting.

"After a year of combat, many of these homespun groups of volunteers are fighting with themselves and undermining the war effort," reporters Justin Scheck and Thomas Gibbons-Neff wrote. "Some have wasted money or stolen valor. Others have cloaked themselves in charity while also trying to profit off the war, records show."

Several of these odious associations are staffed by a motley crew of self-serving liars who apparently joined the groups to line their own pockets, the report said.

"One retired Marine lieutenant colonel from Virginia is the focus of a U.S. federal investigation into the potentially illegal export of military technology," the Times reported. "A former Army soldier arrived in Ukraine only to turn traitor and defect to Russia.

"Connecticut man who lied about his military service has posted live updates from the battlefield — including his exact location — and boasted about his easy access to American weapons. A former construction worker is hatching a plan to use fake passports to smuggle in fighters from Pakistan and Iran."

Other shady characters affiliated with these pro-Ukraine organizations are "stolen valor" impostors who falsely claimed they had military experience or earned military awards.

After reviewing more than 100 pages of documents and interviewing some 30 volunteers, fighters, fundraisers, donors and officials, the Times found "a series of deceptions, mistakes and squabbles" that have hampered Ukraine's war effort.

A September tweet by Ripley's Heroes announced Kinzinger's addition to its board, along with a photo of the former congressman looking chummy with the group's founder, retired Marine Lt. Col. Hunter Ripley Rawlings.

The Western Journal reached out to Kinzinger for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

According to shipping records reviewed by the Times, Ripley’s Heroes — which says it has raised more than $1 million — spent $25,000 on remote-control reconnaissance cars last year, but they never arrived in Ukraine.

The group also claimed it had spent $63,000 on night-vision and thermal optic equipment.

"Frontline volunteers said Ripley’s delivered the equipment to Ukraine without required documentation listing the actual buyers and recipients," the Times reported. "Recently, the federal authorities began investigating the shipments, U.S. officials said."

Rawlings told the outlet that Ripley's Heroes is awaiting nonprofit status in the United States.

"But he has not revealed his spending or proof of a nonprofit application to The Times or to donors who have asked," the Times reported. "So it is not clear where the money is going."

Kinzinger was flooded with comments from Twitter users, many of whom demanded he address this scandal.

Other commenters pointed out how cozy Kinzinger appears to be with James Vasquez. According to the Times, the Connecticut home-improvement contractor claimed he had fought in Kuwait and Iraq as he panhandled for donations on social media.

In reality, the report said, Vasquez was never deployed to Kuwait or Iraq and "left the Army Reserve not as a sergeant as he claimed, but as a private first class, one of the Army’s lowest ranks."

One Twitter user sarcastically wrote: "Would like to commend Adam Kinzinger for legitimizing James Vasquez, helping him (reportedly) divert millions in NAFO donations away from the Ukrainians. Heck, Putin himself should send Adam a spasibo bolshoi card."

Like other sanctimonious warmongers who smear Trump and his supporters as grifters lacking integrity, Kinzinger does not appear to practice what he preaches.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Samantha Chang, The Western Journal

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