Donald Trump Impeachment Betting Odds Update

Paul Ryan
Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Photo by Gage Skidmore (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Paul Ryan retired: what does that mean for bettors?
  • Is Donald Trump more likely to be impeached now?
  • What’s going on with the Stormy Daniels case?

Welcome back to the Sports Betting Dime “is Donald Trump going to be impeached” tracker, the finest Donald Trump-related betting advice column on the web.

How does Paul Ryan’s retirement affect Trump impeachment odds?

  • Not a whole lot, unless it’s an omen of things to come for the House GOP
  • Those odds are sitting at 4/6, which honestly seems high
 Will Donald Trump be impeached before the end of his first term? Odds Implied Probability
YES 4/6 60%

After a career spent zealously depriving children of healthcare and redistributing wealth upwards, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided not to seek reelection this year.

The most important thing for bettors is how this affects Donald Trump’s impeachment odds. Bet365 has those odds (specifically, odds that he’s impeached by the House in his first term) at 4/6 right now, which is very strong. The Democrats aren’t odds-on favorite to control the House after November, much less make an impeachment work.

There’s nothing Paul Ryan was doing to protect Trump from impeachment that whoever succeeds him won’t be able to, and there are any number of house Republicans who would love to be speaker. If anything, Louisiana representative and House majority whip Steve Scalise has voted with Trump just as much as Paul Ryan and offered fewer of Ryan’s post-scandal hand-wringing statements. California representative Kevin McCarthy is another candidate.

Paul Ryan is, more than anything else, an indicator of the prevailing winds in the House of Representatives. He’ll be the 38th Republican to not seek reelection this term, as some polls forecast a coming “wave election” that swoops a great deal of them out of office. Does this mean that Trump will face a hostile House after the 2020 midterm elections? Perhaps, but betting against Trump at the polls has hurt a ton of bettors in the past.

Odds Michael Cohen goes to prison

  • Donald Trump’s personal lawyer was raided by the FBI
  • The attorney-client privilege problems appear to have been erased by Donald Trump himself
Odds
Michael Cohen is charged with a felony 1/1
Michael Cohen is convicted of a felony 3/1
Michael Cohen is pardoned by Donald Trump 15/1

Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization’s in-house counsel and National Deputy Finance Chairman of the RNC, just can’t catch a break. His offices were raided by the FBI, and documents relating to his payment of Stormy Daniels were seized.

There’s a whole network of possible charges that stem from the Stormy Daniels payment. Since the payment occurred before election day and since the FEC considers hush money to be a campaign expenditure, Michael Cohen can be considered to have made an illegal and undisclosed campaign contribution.

Cohen has admitted that the money came from his personal account (specifically, his home equity line of credit) and $130,000 far exceeds the federal limit of campaign contributions individuals can make. Worth noting: this is very similar to what John Edwards was indicted for in 2011.

Cohen has also very likely earned himself a bank fraud charge, since when he made the payment he would have been asked to list a reason. I don’t think it’s likely that he answered that question honestly. There’s also enterprise fraud, which could stem from the particulars of using a shell company to make a hush money payment, and a whole host of other small things you wouldn’t think of but are still felonies.

Some of you at home might be wondering how the raid isn’t a blatant violation of attorney-client privilege.

That’s a good question! Michael Cohen is Donald Trump’s lawyer, so his communication with Donald Trump is protected. Certainly, the FBI would need some reason to believe that Michael Cohen was not acting in his capacity as Donald Trump’s lawyer when he made the payment or signed the NDA.

It’s really hard to make an attorney-client privilege argument when your client denies any knowledge of the arrangement. Lawyers aren’t allowed to sign contracts or make payments on behalf of their clients without their client’s knowledge, and doing so is a really easy way to get disbarred. By denying knowledge of the agreement, Donald Trump isn’t making life easy for Cohen at all.

Donald Trump can pretty easily insulate himself from this whole affair, by claiming that he had no knowledge of any of it. He didn’t sign the NDA, it’s hard to prove that he knew of the payment (he certainly hasn’t reimbursed Cohen) so he can pretty plausibly claim that Cohen was acting alone. Doing this would hang Michael Cohen out to dry, which is precisely why I think Donald Trump will do it.

The only risk is if Michael Cohen then decides to talk to investigators about his client’s activities, so the question becomes one of how loyal Cohen is to Donald Trump.

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Alex spent so long feigning an interest in baseball that he became our go-to guy for sports nobody else here knows about. Tennis player, golf nut, rugby fan and washed out half-miler. Career .600 against Ryan Murphy in NBA Jam: Tournament Edition.