- News that the President Trump considered terminating special counsel Robert Mueller have shortened his impeachment odds.
- Is there actually a realistic chance that Congress will impeach the President in his first term?
- Where’s the value in Bovada’s wager on Trump’s exit date from the White House?
Welcome to the latest episode of the Trump Investigation saga. This one’s a doozy.
So, remember all those times Trump denied that he was considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller? Well, it turns out that could all be, what’s that term again … fake news.
According to the New York Times, Trump ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn II to dismiss the Mueller back in June. The president later backed down when McGahn refused and threatened to resign.
Trump’s response to the story was predictable: “Fake News, folks. Fake News. Typical New York Times.” Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer dealing with the investigation, had a more measured response: “We decline to comment out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process.”
This report comes just days after it was revealed that Trump asked Andrew McCabe whom McCabe voted for in the presidential election before appointing him temporary FBI director in May 2017. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI director James Comey have already been interviewed by the special counsel, and Trump could be next.
Are the walls closing in on the President? The betting markets seem to think so. Bovada has revised its numbers. Let’s take a look.
Odds Trump Is Impeached by the Senate in His 1st Term
According to Bovada, there is a 28.6% chance that Trump is impeached by the Senate during his first term. Those are extraordinary odds, considering that only two presidents have been successfully impeached and the House is currently painted red.
Republicans currently control 51 seats in the Senate, while the Democrats control 47, and two seats are held by independents. Trump’s approval rating nationwide remains in the mid to high 30s, but among registered Republicans, he’s polling at a whopping 81%. As long as the Republican base still has his back, it’s extremely unlikely that a Republican-controlled Senate will move to impeach the President.
That could all change in November, though. A Blue Wave in the midterm elections could swing the Senate back to the Democrats!
Year That Trump Is Impeached | Paddy PowerAs I was saying earlier, it’s unlikely Trump will be impeached before November. For that reason, I would hold off on picking 2018 here. If the Democrats take over the House, it’ll probably be at least 2019 before they start moving to impeach (if they even decide to).
Trump is polling at a dismal 5% among registered Democrats, many of whom want the 45th president out ASAP. In order to appease their base, House Democrats may vote to impeach Trump even if there is no chance of it passing the Senate. Picking 2019 at +400 seems like pretty good value to me.
Odds on Trump’s Exit Date
In the face of almost certain impeachment, Nixon chose instead to resign. That allowed him to skip the humiliation of being the first president removed from office by impeachment, and it also allowed Gerald Ford, his successor, to later pardon him for any crimes he might have committed. If things get as bad for Trump, he could choose to do the same. Or, you know, he could just grow bored of the presidency and call it a day.
The odds that Trump doesn’t complete his first term (i.e. exits in 2018 or 2019) are a bit short, though. If you’re inclined to pick 2020 or later, then the payout probably won’t get much better than this in the near-future. If you want to put money down on 2019, then I’d recommend waiting a few more news cycles before doing so. We’ve seen this happen a few times over the last year. A big news story swings the odds, but they always slowly creep back once the story dies down.