White House aides and allies who vouched for Kavanaugh’s squeaky clean public image and encouraged President Donald Trump to choose him for the highest court have a lot to lose, too — including the president’s trust, which has allowed them to wield enormous influence over his nominations to the federal bench.

They include Federalist Society executive director Leonard Leo, Ethics and Public Policy Center president Ed Whelan, and White House counsel Don McGahn, all of whom were longtime personal friends of the judge before Trump tapped him to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy in July. All three personally attested not only to Kavanaugh’s legal chops but to his character as well.

Deeply invested in Kavanaugh’s nomination, all three have doubled down on their bet — raising the personal and political stakes simultaneously.