Donald Trump is still the President of the United States. But if oddsmakers are right, there’s a good chance that he won’t hold office for much longer, owing to the firing of FBI director James Comey and the revelation that Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians during an Oval Office meeting.
As of May 11, Trump’s odds of being impeached during his first term were sitting at a whopping 60 percent.
The odds are part of a host of “Donald Trump Specials” offered by the Irish betting house Paddy Power. (Vegas doesn’t let you bet on anything but sports.) It includes bets that Trump will be impeached for treason (6/1 odds) and on who his next FBI Director will be (Trey Gowdy leads with 4/7 odds). On the more soothing side, Paddy Power has 13/8 odds — 38 percent — that Steve Bannon will be the next one fired from the White House.
Now, gambling odds aren’t exactly reliable predictive science — they’re pretty far from it in a lot of cases — but they’ve nonetheless skyrocketed after Trump dismissed Comey in what some suspect to be a cover up.
A representative from Paddy Power told The Independent on May 11 that, ““In the past 24 hours alone we’ve seen money for Trump to be impeached in his first term, resulting in us cutting the odds from 10/11 into 4/6.”
Paddy Power is also offering 25 percent, or 3/1, odds on Trump’s impeachment happening in 2017.
Previously, the UK betting house Ladbrokes also offered a host of Trump specials that had gotten serious action. “I think it’s a reaction to continued probes into Russian influence plus the health care bill failure,” Matthew Shaddick, head of political betting at Ladbrokes, told Inverse in an email regarding all the attention. Shaddick noted that he thinks Trump’s actual impeachment chances are much, much lower than the odds make them out to be.
On March 31, Ladbrokes briefly took down the “Donald Trump Specials” betting page after months of wagers, and replaced them with a new suite of bets related to the upcoming 2020 election. A small drop-down window on the site’s betslip menu revealed that betting had been suspended. Ladbrokes’s PR Manager Alex Donohue told Inverse that the pause on bets was routine.
They were just suspended as part of routine site maintenance. Rest assured, we will be continuing to take bets on Trump impeachment and many other markets for quite some time — it would be bad business for us to shut up shop.
As of May 10, the odds appeared to be missing again, although gamblers can still wager on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Paddy Power isn’t the only other betting house offering wagers about Trump’s potential early exit and about other aspects of his nascent presidency. Here are a few:
Sky Bet is offering 2/1 odds that Trump will cease to be president in 2017, 9/2 odds for 2018, 7/1 odds in 2019, and 16/1 in 2020.
BetVictor offers 3/1 odds Trump will be out of office in 2017, 9/2 odds he’ll be gone in 2018, 5/1 in 2019, and 4/5 odds for 2020 or later.
Coral offers 8/11 odds that a Democrat will win the 2020 presidential election and 7/2 odds that Mike Pence will replace Trump as the Republican nominee in that election.
Betfair offers 4/1 odds that Trump will leave office in 2017, and 3/1 odds that he will be the next president. (Oprah has 19/1 odds.)
Ladbrokes gives Donald Trump 2/1 odds of winning the 2020 election but also gives the Democratic party 8/11 odds of doing so.
Other Paddy Power odds include, 4/1 odds that Sean Spicer will be sacked as White House Press Secretary in the second quarter of 2017, 3/1 odds that Trump will try to ban abortion, and, terrifyingly, 20/1 odds that Steve Bannon will succeed Trump in 2020.
The Constitution states that “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are grounds for impeachment. In reality, impeachment is a highly political weapon since Congress defines what “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are. Heck, if the opposing party is mad enough and has enough power, a blow job is an impeachable offense. (If you lie about it in court, that is.) Only two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, have been impeached, though Richard Nixon surely would’ve been had he not resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal. For Trump to actually be impeached, the highly Republican House of Representatives would have to initiate the process. Here are some of the reasons why they could, perhaps, impeach Trump.
If some of the allegations in the leaked Steele memo about possible Russian blackmail material over Trump are true, that would be an impeachable offense; no, not the golden shower part — Article One isn’t out to kink-shame — but the treason part. If Trump is proven to have been in contact with the Russian government and is letting Vladimir Putin overtly shape American policy, that could be reason enough for him to get the boot. Trump’s recent firing of FBI director James Comey has also been causing concern.
But the ongoing FBI investigation into Russia’s election meddling, to which Trump and members of his campaign and administration may or may not be tied. That investigation is still proceeding despite the FBI’s loss of director Comey.
Conflicts of interest could also do the trick. Trump’s lawyers have said that he, as the president, is legally protected from having conflicts of interest. This is different from not having conflicts of interest in the first place. Although Trump gave his two sons control of his business (which is not at all the same as placing assets in a blind trust), there’s still a lot of potential for shady activity. Trump says he’ll donate any money when foreign representatives stay at a Trump hotel to the U.S. Treasury, but that could still be perceived as a bribe. They’re staying at a Trump hotel to curry favor with the president.
Or, Trump could lie under oath about literally anything.
The president could also sexually assault somebody. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s done so, allegedly.
Again, impeachment would be all on the Republican-controlled House, so it seems unlikely that they’re going to want to impeach Trump. That said, you can place a not unlikely bet that he won’t finish out the term over at Paddy Power right now. Maybe he’ll just get bored and quit. Stranger things have happened, and you’d still get the money.