With Kavanaugh’s seemingly slam-dunk elevation to the Supreme Court facing resistance from a handful of key GOP senators, McConnell convened a marathon meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans and his leadership team on Monday. Holed up for nearly two hours in McConnell’s Senate office, they devised a process to satisfy Kavanaugh’s defenders and appease Republicans uncomfortable with forging ahead until the nominee’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, gets a full public hearing.

The majority leader was calm and even-keeled throughout the session, making clear he’s 100 percent behind Kavanaugh and never suggesting the party bail on the nomination, according to interviews with more than a half-dozen GOP senators close to McConnell. He and the party committed to following Senate and committee rules, noticing a hearing for Ford and Kavanaugh to appear in a week, rather than trying to change precedent and rush a hearing this week.