Report: Kinzinger serves on board of disgraced stolen valor group in Ukraine

by WorldTribune Staff, March 27, 2023

Former Illinois RINO Rep. Adam Kinzinger serves on the board of a Ukraine support organization that scammed people out of millions of dollars and was exposed for stolen valor, according to reports.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, right, with James Vasquez

The group, Ripley’s Heroes, is under U.S. federal investigation for export violations. The group has admitted to funneling money to a for-profit company, The New York Times reported on March 25.

Ripley’s Heroes featured James Vasquez, an American man recently exposed as a stolen valor fraudster who touted he had “taken out 7 Russian tanks” while fighting on behalf of Ukraine in 2022.

Another Ripley’s Heroes worker, Rip Rawlings, wrote in September 2022: “With great appreciation we’d like to announce today that Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois 16th District) will join Ripley’s Heroes on our Board of Advisors. His dedication to Ukraine and solid service to America greatly enhances our mission.”

Ripley’s Heroes has applied for 501(c)3 status with the IRS. Though the application has not yet been approved, the group is collecting donations.

Independent journalist Jordan Schachtel wrote on Twitter that “Kinzinger was ON THE BOARD of the Ukraine org that scammed people out of millions of dollars!” and “there is now an ongoing federal investigation into Ripley’s.”

Kinzinger had posed for photos with Vasquez and advocated for Twitter to verify his account. The former congressman said last year that Vasquez was “legit,” and “too many folks are trying to create fake acts with him. I have a bill in congress to deal with this… Since this was happening to me for so long.”

Vasquez said he “decided to pack up and make his way to Ukraine to fight as a volunteer soldier within the Ukrainian Military” and later claimed he’d “taken out 7 Russian tanks” fighting alongside the Ukrainian Army.

Sarah Ashton-Cirillo posted that Vasquez was guilty of the practice of claiming military valor for one’s self despite not having served or “stolen valor.” She wrote that while she “won’t release private texts,” Vasquez had “confirmed to [her] in writing that he does not and has not had a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

Previously, Ashton-Cirillo wrote: “As a soldier in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who has to live by the rules of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who has fought and fights at the front for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I’m done w/ lies. James Vasquez is not and has not been in ZSU. @jmvasquez1974 please get help.”

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