Lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service met yesterday to finally conclude how this 16 month investigation into allegations of 'cash for honours' - that went to the very heart of Downing St - would end.
That there was simply not enough evidence to bring charges, in particular against the three individuals who came under arrest - Lord Levy (Tony Blair's chief fundraiser, his Middle East envoy, tennis partner and friend), Ruth Turner (the director of government relations when Mr Blair was in Downing St), and businessman Sir Christopher Evans (one of those who'd lent so much money to the Labour party - those secret loans that first produced this extraordinarily damaging investigation).
It's a reprieve* for Tony Blair, but of course, that won't reduce the anger of some of his supporters. I spoke to one of those close to the former PM in the last few hours, who said people cannot overstate just how much damage this did to Mr Blair in his final months in office - he was wounded at a time when he was already under attack, it led to an early exit from Downing Street, and all the while, Mr Blair felt quite unable to defend himself.
There is anger too, of course, from those who came under inquiry. But there is also anger from those who brought the original allegations. Angus MacNeil, the Scottish nationalist MP, has expressed his disbelief, and demanded to know exactly what the police recommendation was to the CPS.
All in all, this is sure to produce a monumental row. Assistant Commissioner John Yates of Scotland Yard will come to the defence of his officers tomorrow, after the announcement is made, insisting as he's always done, that they were simply doing their job - looking into the evidence, and taking so long only because some of that evidence had been concealed.
And let's be honest, there will criticism too of the media, for staging what some close to Tony Blair describe as a witchhunt. At the end of it all, I suspect, rather like at the end of the Hutton Inquiry, there will be no agreement as to whether justice has been done, or whether we are seeing a whitewash - or even, if this matter is truly at an end.
The only agreement that there might be is this - perhaps there needs to be a better way of investigating these sorts of serious allegations.
*Update, 6 December 2007: A reader has challenged the use of the word "reprieve" to describe the decision of the CPS not to bring charges on the grounds that it might have implied guilt. Given that Mr Blair was never questioned as a suspect there was no question of him being charged or, indeed, reprieved in the legal sense. My point was that it was a political reprieve that none of his staff were charged. This judgement from the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit explores this in more detail.