Despite solid evidence, Republican members of Congress, like fawning groupies, continue to stand with President Trump. Among them, notably, is our own Rep. Chris Stewart, whose inability to sort fact from fiction was on display recently during the impeachment hearings.

Trump’s mob-like tactic, conditioning military aid and a White House visit upon investigations of a goofy conspiracy theory and the Bidens, is extortion and an abuse of presidential power. Republican leaders’ defense of Trump’s behavior, placing preservation of their jobs above the Constitution they have sworn to uphold, is self-serving and unprincipled; with the possible exception of Sen. Mitt Romney, there doesn’t appear to be a statesman among them.

Wary of despots from whom they fled, our founding fathers gave us a process for removing presidents. Now is the time to use that process to dismiss a man who thinks he is above the law and puts his own self interest above the country’s, a man who was elevated to a position for which he was not equipped.

Republican leaders would do well to abandon Trump and attempt to restore dignity and credibility to their party, and to atone for nominating Trump in the first place.

Allan W. Smart, Salt Lake City