The opportunity afforded to Romney by Trump here is enormous. The first Republican officeholder of consequence (sorry, Justin Amash) who backs Trump’s impeachment and removal will have a chance to become one of the most pivotal figures in American history. Romney could lead some of his Senate colleagues to join him in calling for removal. For other senators, he could provide much-needed cover.

Until someone with gravitas in the GOP sticks his or her head out of the foxhole, Republican elected officials will feel themselves trapped. Right now, their only options are to support President Trump or to support an impeachment inquiry controlled exclusively by Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats. By coming out strongly in favor of the impeachment inquiry, and perhaps also the removal of the president, Romney could give the members of his party a third choice: They could stand with the Constitution and they could protect the prerogatives of Congress.

Romney could also give them a chance to safeguard their own party’s future. A reconstituted, post-Trump GOP is going to need a strong, uncompromised leader to guide the party back from the political wilderness it will likely find itself in.

And beyond the ways he can lead his fellow officeholders, Mitt Romney can lead the country.