“It’s like magic — you distract the audience while the real trick is being done — and I think right now, while Americans focus on President Obama’s unending difficulties, it’s good news for the Gang of Eight working on immigration,” said Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, referring to the four Republicans and four Democrats who crafted the bill.

The dynamic is probably fleeting; the immigration measure’s path is likely to become more treacherous as the scandal investigations persist in grabbing headlines, the legislation moves toward a high-profile Senate vote next month, and skeptical House Republicans have their say…

Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the group of eight that wrote the compromise bill as well as the Judiciary Committee that signed off on it, said the scandal fever that has broken out in Washington has “been good” for the legislation, lowering the emotional temperature that has surrounded past failed efforts to make immigration changes.

“To be able to go through this markup where nobody can claim that we’ve short-circuited the process — it’s been an open process, we’ve adopted some substantive amendments — to be able to do that without people calling press conferences outside and without groups calling members, it’s been a good process,” Flake said in an interview, referring to the Judiciary panel’s actions. “I’d have to say it probably helped.”