Donald Trump Impeachment Odds Rising Quickly

By Taylor Smith in Politics on November 26, 2018

5

Minute Read

President Donald Trump tried to act optimistic the day after the midterm elections, but as the results continued to trickle in the days and weeks following Election Night, his mood predictably soured. Democrats enjoyed a massive “blue wave” in the House of Republicans, effectively seizing control from Republicans. However, Republicans did hold their majority in the Senate, and even increased their advantage along the way.

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While the Senate news was good for the president, news of the House breaking toward Democrats isn’t ideal. This means that Trump will now finally be held accountable by one of the chambers of Congress after enjoying a Republican majority in both chambers for the first 2 years of his presidency.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’re probably aware that Trump’s presidency has been quite divisive to this point. About 111 million people voted in the 2018 midterm election, which is the biggest voter turnout for a non-presidential election in American history. To compare, about 130 million people cast votes in the 2016 presidential election. Clearly, the 2018 midterms were a referendum on Trump for millions of voters.

The notion that Trump may have been impeached during either of his first 2 years in office was always poppycock. With Republicans controlling the House, the president was essentially free to do whatever he wanted with very little oversight. The Democrats’ status as the minority party meant they held very little investigative power. However, now that the Democrats are set to take charge, you can bet the House will start to serve a massive role in whatever happens with the Trump administration over the next couple of years.

The House of Representatives is in charge of potentially impeaching a president. The betting odds at entertainment betting sites still suggest that Trump is likely to survive in his current job until at least 2020, but bettors are already taking advantage with the potential for impeachment growing. Back in May, PredictIt reported that Trump had about a 7 percent chance of being impeached during his first term. Since the midterms, however, that number has jumped considerably to 27 percent.

Of course, it’s probably worth noting that PredictIt had Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 election at 82 percent, so it’s not exactly the be-all, end-all indicator of what’s to come. MyBookie has updated betting odds regarding whether Trump will make it through his first 4 years in office without getting impeached:

Will Trump Be Impeached Prior to the 2020 Election?

  • Yes +250
  • No -550

As you can see, the odds are still heavily in favor of Trump remaining in office until at least 2020. Talk of impeachment surrounding this president is nothing new. Paddy Power listed Trump at 16-to-1 to get impeached immediately following his surprise win in the ‘16 election. Those odds dropped to 10-to-1 by the time Trump was inaugurated in the following January. Now, the odds have dipped further to 3-to-1.

Interestingly enough, Paddy Power has it at 4-to-6 that Trump won’t make it through his first term. That doesn’t necessarily mean impeachment, but Trump may be removed from office some other way. Paddy Power spokesman Lee Price recently told CNBC, “We’ve been betting on impeachment for all recent U.S. presidents but, even at the height of the [Monica] Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton was only ever 6-to-1 to be impeached.” Clinton, of course, was impeached amid the scandal but Congress elected against removing him from office.

For those not in the know, the House of Representatives has “the sole power of impeachment” under the U.S. Constitution. The House has the power to remove a president or vice president for a variety of violations, including treason, bribery “or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Any member of the House may commence impeachment proceedings. The House will then debate the issue and ultimately put it to a vote with a simple majority rule. However, impeachment does not necessarily mean that a president will be removed from office. The House will notify the Senate of its decision before the Senate essentially holds a trial in order to decide how to proceed.

The House impeached Clinton on grounds of perjury (lying under oath) and obstruction of justice, but the Senate ultimately voted against ousting him from office. The House was set to vote on whether to impeach president Richard Nixon before he ultimately decided to resign from the presidency and remove himself from office instead.

Variety of Betting Options

Not only may you bet on whether Trump will be impeached in his first term, you can also wager on the grounds for his potential impeachment. Paddy Power has listed treason (10-to-3) as the most likely cause, with tax evasion (4-to-1), perjury (7-to-1) and bribery (10-to-1) following in that order.

However, I think Trump being impeached on the grounds of obstruction of justice is the most likely scenario, if he is to be impeached. You can bet on obstruction of justice at 12-to-1 to be the House’s reasoning for impeachment. Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly in the final stages of his deep and widespread investigation into whether Trump and his campaign colluded in any way with a foreign government leading up to the 2016 election.

Many seem to believe that Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey was clearly obstruction of justice. According to Comey, Trump had asked the ex-FBI director at one point to look past the wrongdoings of Michael Flynn, who served briefly as Trump’s first national security advisor. Trump reportedly told Comey in a private meeting, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy.”

After being fired from his role as national security advisor, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his communications with Sergey Kislyak, a former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Shortly after Comey refused to just “let Flynn go,” Trump made the controversial decision to fire Comey.

Trump said in a subsequent interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that the Russia questions were on his mind when he decided to axe Comey, which is something the president later denied. Trump’s admission that the Russia investigation was on his mind when he fired Comey sure sounds like a case of obstruction. Of course, Comey’s dismissal also led to the appointment of Mueller in the first place, so Trump essentially dug his own grave on that front.

I would be all over betting on Trump to be impeached with obstruction of justice as the primary reason. There are other legitimate contenders, but take the 12-to-1 betting value while you still can.

Democrats Promise Investigations

Trump has been able to skate through the first couple of years of his presidency without much pushback from either branch of Congress. If Democrats are telling the truth, though, that’s about to change. During the first couple of years of Trump, Democrats had asked the Republican majority to issue subpoenas regarding the administration a whopping 52 times. Of course, they were rejected 52 times, as well.

Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said before the election,

“If Democrats win the majority in November, we would finally do what Republicans have refused to do, and that is conduct independent, fact-based, and credible investigations of the Trump administration to address issues like the security clearance process, conflicts of interest, the numerous attempts by Republicans to strip away healthcare from millions of Americans, postal service reforms, prescription drug pricing and voting rights.”

Since winning the majority in the House, the Democrats have continued to make similarly strong statements promising a closer look at what Trump and his cohorts have been up to. The fact that investigations are likely to occur certainly increases the chances that Trump gets in trouble in some way or another.

Still, removal from office is unlikely barring something major coming out of the Mueller investigation. The two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to confirm Trump’s ouster from office, and Republicans currently hold 52 seats in that chamber. In the extremely partisan world of politics in which we live today, it’s hard to fathom enough Republicans coming around to actually vote him out.

So, when it comes to “which year will Trump not be president” betting odds, I’ll say that “2020 or later” is easily the best option at -400. 2018 is an incredibly unlikely option at +850, while there is admittedly some value in betting on 2019 here. The potential fallout from the Mueller report could have some implications on Trump’s job once the calendar flips to 2019, so I don’t hate the bet there at +450. There’s some solid profit potential there.

Will Trump Be Impeached?

Whether Trump is ultimately impeached remains to be seen, but the odds obviously improve considerably now that the Democrats have seized control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats have pledged to hold the president and his administration accountable, which is a responsibility the Republicans largely ignored during their time in the majority.

Something drastic is going to have to happen in order for the president to lose his job before election day of 2020. If you’re betting on this, you’re essentially banking on something damning coming out in the Mueller report, or that Trump will do something between now and then to get himself impeached. Given the unpredictable nature of this president and his administration, it’s definitely not a foolish bet.

I’d be willing to put money down on an impeachment coming down the pike, but I would hesitate to wager on Trump being forcibly removed from office any time soon.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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