There's an old adage in politics, coined by the former American President Ronald Reagan: "If you're explaining, you're losing."
has had to do one heck of a lot of explaining.
Explaining his record in government. Explaining why, in his view, he didn't lie to parliament about the parties in government during the pandemic. Explaining why drinking with colleagues while not socially distanced was within the Covid
guidance and rules.
All of this, dredged up again for us all to ponder.
The spectacle of Conservative MPs scrutinising a fellow Conservative MP, while other Conservative MPs, allies of Mr Johnson
, heckled their colleagues asking the questions.
A flashback to the insurrection, the civil war within the Tory party Boris Johnson
's downfall precipitated and the chaos that followed.
The Privileges Committee now needs to work out if the former prime minister was recklessly misleading or intentionally misleading. Proving intent, that he lied, is a high bar.
Recklessness is more subjective and so, perhaps, an easier conclusion for the committee to reach and agree upon.
Being branded by parliament as either are labels Mr Johnson
is desperate to avoid. And from either will come a recommended censure.
Here is the timeframe: the committee will meet again formally next week:
Once it has received all the evidence it is ever going to, which it hasn't yet, work on writing up the conclusions will begin.Boris Johnson
will then be given two weeks to read and reply to their completed report, and only then will it see the light of day so the rest of us can read it.
It looks like that will happen in late spring or early summer.
A suspension from the Commons of 10 sitting days or more - endorsed by all MPs - brings the potential for a by-election, and with it the potential humiliation of defeat at the hands of the people in his west London constituency. But we are several steps short of that yet.
Incidentally, I suspect there is a strange disjuncture between all this parliamentary theatre and most of you reading this. I suspect you may have made your mind up about Mr Johnson
, good or bad, a long time ago.
And the likelihood of his imminent return to the party leadership has seemed small ever since he resigned. But the verdict of this committee will be a badge he will never be able to take off.
It will shape his future; a permanent reference on his reputation. And it has the potential to finish him off.