Now that the House of Representatives is finally on the cusp of sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gets to save a presidency.
The GOP fix is in as before for the acquittal of President Donald Trump. The Ukraine shakedown alleged by one major party in one house will be nullified by the other major party in the other house.
The fact that any real assessment of the witnesses and evidence in the case will have nothing to do with the outcome may be old news, but it is a big deal.
Former national security adviser John Bolton already made clear he opposed trading $391 million in U.S. security support in exchange for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing investigations aimed at Trump's domestic rivals.
But Bolton declined to appear before the House, then gave word he'd appear if subpoenaed by the Senate.
Asked on Fox News why he would not let Bolton testify, Trump said, "I have no problem, other than one thing: You can't be in the White House as president — future, I'm talking about future, many future presidents — and have a security adviser, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things ... ”
Would he invoke executive privilege? "Well, I think you have to, for the sake of the office," Trump said.
So there will be no Bolton testimony — for now.
McConnell, of course, has been campaigning against impeachment for some time with at least as much commitment as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has shown for the process.
In October, McConnell said in a fundraising pitch on Facebook: "Your conservative Senate Majority is the ONLY thing stopping Nancy Pelosi from impeaching President Trump. Donate & help us keep it!"
Last week, McConnell said while the articles were blocked: "This is what they have done: They have initiated one of the most grave and most unsettling processes in our Constitution and then refused to allow a resolution."
Only those who convince themselves their duty to party is tantamount to their duty to country can play their leadership roles with the required level of stridency.
This is a historic opportunity falling upon McConnell.
How many legislative leaders get to conduct a legal process that saves a president from their party?
Fans and foes alike should mark the moment — and recall it again next year if Trump wins a second term.
Remember who rescued the GOP enterprise simply by holding his caucus together.
The president will owe McConnell and his conference bigly if he doesn't already.