Donald Trump is the President of the United States. But if oddsmakers are right, there’s a good chance that he won’t hold office for that long. There are many reasons Trump could be impeached or resign before his first term ends.
As of the morning of April 19, Trump’s odds of leaving office before his first term were dead even.
The odds are part of a group of “Donald Trump Specials” offered by the UK betting house Ladbrokes. (Vegas doesn’t let you bet on anything but sports.) It includes bets that he won’t be re-elected in 2020 and that he’ll visit Russia by the end of the year. Now, gambling odds aren’t exactly reliable predictive science — they’re pretty far from it in a lot of cases — but after a tumultuous first few weeks of his presidency when odds went from being even to likely, the odds of Trump’s impeachment fluctuated. Ladbrokes had gotten serious action on Trump’s odds, and in a Ladbrokes post on the change, Jessica Bridge, a spokesperson for Ladbrokes, said:
“The money is showing no signs of slowing down and we’ve been forced to cut Trump’s impeachment odds accordingly. We’ve taken five times the amount of bets on him failing to see out his full term than on him doing so.”
“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 the Ladbrokes, told Inverse in an email. Shaddick notes that he thinks Trump’s actual impeachment chances are much, much lower than the odds make them out to be.
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’ 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.
After the original odds went up, Ladbrokes added a new suite of bets. Gamblers could wager on which year Trump will leave office. Options include 2021, which is when he would leave if he loses the 2020 election, and terrifyingly, “2025 or later.”
Ladbrokes isn’t the only other betting houses offering wagers about Trump’s potential early exit. On April 19, other UK betting houses are offering the following odds.
Paddy Power’s offering “a golden shower of Trump Odds” that include 10/11 odds on Trump being impeached, 5/1 odds on his marriage ending before his presidency, 25/1 odds on Trump and Putin to receive a joint Nobel Prize, and 25/1 odds on Mexico directly paying for the wall.
SkyBet 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 11/4 odds Trump will be out of office in 2017, 9/2 odds he’ll be gone in 2018, 7/1 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 3/1 odds that Trump will be the next president. (Oprah has 1/33 odds).
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 somewhat recently published leaked 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 lawyers say 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.
Trump could accidentally divulge confidential information to his family or, Christ, to the whole world in a 3 a.m. tweet. Such a wanton breach of national security could be viewed as grounds for impeachment.
Or, he 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 an even money bet that he won’t finish out the term over at Ladbrokes right now. Maybe he’ll just get bored and quit. Stranger things have happened, and you’d still get the money.
Dyani Sabin contributed reporting for this story.Photos via Ladbrokes, Getty Images / Win McNamee, Getty Images