There’s no way to know what McCain would have thought of the impeachment itself. Whether he would have signaled his thumb up or down for the president. But his career in the Senate was marked by moments when his voice, and only his voice, made the ultimate difference in a debate that ultimately rested on American values and McCain’s articulation of America’s responsibility to promote freedom around the world. The normalization of relations with Vietnam in 1995 was one such moment, as was McCain’s staunch opposition to waterboarding by the George W. Bush administration after 9/11.

But he would certainly have been speaking out today for Ukraine, whose people he often promised, “Your fight is our fight.” And he would have raised alarms again and again over Putin and Russia, which he described as a “kleptocracy” and a “gas station masquerading as a country.”