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Trump Impeachment Odds Spike While Manafort Prays For A Pardon

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Entertainment

Updated Mar 26, 2020 · 10:06 AM PDT

Paul Manafort faces a maximum of 80 years in prison. Will Trump bail him out?
Paul Manafort faces a maximum of 80 years in prison. Will Trump bail him out? Photo by Donket Hotey (Flickr)
  • It’s being described as the worst day in the Trump presidency… so far!
  • Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and personal attorney Michael Cohen have both been found guilty
  • Does impeachment loom, and will Manafort be granted a pardon?

It was described as the worst day of the Trump presidency. Not one, but two members of Trump’s core circle will likely face jail time. As of Wednesday, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen are both guilty of eight charges each.

Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and failing to register a foreign account. Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, two counts of violating campaign-finance laws, and making a false statement to a bank.

These are nervous times for Donald Trump. His personal attorney, a man who once claimed he would take a bullet for Trump, has flipped and is now working to bring down the President. And his former campaign manager, who was present at the murky Trump Tower meeting with a Putin-connected lawyer, is currently being squeezed by the Special Counsel.

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Donald Trump is impeached by the House in his 1st term Odds
Yes +100
No -130

Even money. That’s the odds when it comes to Trump’s chances of impeachment. It may seem ludicrous for a bookmaker to imply that there’s a 50-50 chance of a President being impeached, but it kinda makes sense when you break it down.

A simple majority is all that’s needed for the House to impeach the President. Most models give the Democrats a 60-70% chance of flipping the House during the upcoming midterms, so they’ll likely have the numbers to send the vote to the Senate.

Most models give the Democrats a 60-70% chance of flipping the House during the upcoming midterms, so they’ll likely have the numbers to send the vote to the Senate.

Trump is now an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, and would’ve been charged alongside Cohen if he were not President. Cohen has tape recordings of Trump and is willing to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. Manafort could potentially spend the rest of his life behind bars, unless he works with the investigation or is pardoned (hold that thought).

In order for Trump to be removed by impeachment, the Senate must vote to confirm by a two-thirds majority. The Democrats are more likely to lose than gain seats in the Senate this midterm, and the Republicans have remained eerily silent during all of this. Unless there’s a seismic shift in the political landscape, Trump isn’t going anywhere.

But even if the House Democrats are assured that the Senate won’t confirm their impeachment, they may still go ahead with it. There’s a lot of pressure from the Democratic base to hold Trump accountable, and there may be a political price to pay if they don’t take a stand.

Having said all that, I still think No (-130) is the way to go. We see the odds spike every time there’s a scandal, only for the numbers to trickle back down once nothing comes of it. The guilty verdicts are a big deal, even by Trump standards, but it could all still amount to nothing.

Paul Manafort is pardoned by December 31, 2018  Odds
Yes +200
No -280

If you think that pardoning a man at the center of the investigation is outside the realm of possibility, think again.

The President cannot afford to have his former campaign manager squeal. Manafort was present at the Trump Tower meeting, which is at the core of the investigation, and if there is any collusion with the Russians, he likely had a hand in it. After all, before joining the Trump campaign, Manafort was a lobbyist on behalf of a Pro-Putin Ukrainian leader.

Pardoning Manafort would be a terrible look for Trump, but that has never stopped him in the past. Manafort has remained solid up until now, refusing to cooperate with the investigation and staring down the charges leveled at him. He now faces a maximum of 80 years in prison, and there’s still another wave of charges to come

There are limits to Trump’s pardon powers, though. Manafort is being investigated by the New York State attorney general, and the President can only pardon federal offenses. Mueller has yet to indict Manafort for his crimes in New York, and may be it strategically hanging onto them in order to discourage a pardon.

All this, of course, is just speculation. It’s hard to know how Trump really feels about Manafort. He has spoken (tweeted) glowingly about Manafort and his “wonderful” family, but he has also thrown him under the bus. Despite Trump’s unpredictable nature, Manafort is still all-in on a pardon. It really could go either way, so there may actually be some value in Yes (+200).

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