U.S. House Democrats have been teasing impeachment of President Donald Trump since shortly after his first day in office, but they’re finally going through with it for real. November 13 marked the first day of public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry, with Ukrainian interim Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent testifying. What better time than now to look at Trump’s impeachment odds, care of Predictit.org.
After a damaging day of testimony that presented nothing new, but showed how little Republicans had to defend the president with, Trump’s impeachment odds fluctuated as betters tried to sell the high. A yes on impeachment went from a high of $0.78 during the testimony to $0.74 at the end of it, now resting at $0.74. Still great odds that this is going to a Senate trial, but a vote of no confidence on this duo being the star witnesses.
But shocking, odds that Trump would finish his first term took a sharp dip during the testimony. When we looked at the odds two weeks ago, they were near an all-time low of $0.70. They had rebounded since then to $0.78, but dropped sharply to $0.71. That had to be corrected quickly, and as the pundits have had their takes now, odds are back at $0.77.
The next big question, and the whole reason for this inquiry, is what accusations will Trump face exactly? During the Mueller probe, Trump at one point had five articles of impeachment leveled against him, namely obstruction of justice, violations of both the foreign and domestic emoluments clause, undermining the federal judiciary and undermining the freedom of the press. That went nowhere though and only had six democrats pushing it.
The market seems to be betting on three articles ($0.34), and I’m not a lawyer but I would assume that includes obstruction of justice, inviting foreign interference in an election, and mishandling foreign policy. Keep in mind, these don’t have to be official crimes, Democrats could accuse him of bad taste, if they like. Trailing those odds are either 0 or 2 ($0.23), 4 or more ($0.11), or just one ($0.08), which is the least likely as obstruction of justice is almost guaranteed to be one of the articles, along with the central offense.
As this inquiry stretches out for the next few weeks, none of these numbers are likely to change by any large margin, unless a testimony really sets off fireworks in the U.S. Capitol Building. That is unlikely to happen with the next hearing, as Marie Yovanovich, former ambassador to the Ukraine, is due up, and while she was allegedly pushed out of her job by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, it was far before the infamous call with Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The next big chance for fireworks looks like it will be on November 20, when Gordon Sondland, who’s been caught in lies before and is a defender of President Trump, is set to talk publically. Keep an eye on the odds leading into that day.