Will Donald Trump Be Impeached? (538.com link): After a cacophonous two weeks of political news, a new sound has begun to emerge from Washington: the word “impeachment.” Following the news that President Trump may have tried to bully FBI director James Comey out of investigating Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, told CNN that recent allegations, if true, are already making impeachment hearings more likely. Rep. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, became the first congressman to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor. And even some Republicans in blue-leaning districts, such as Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, have begun to entertain impeachment as a possibility.
This might all seem like a liberal fantasy: No president has ever been booted out of the job, and only Richard Nixon resigned under the pressure of the impeachment process.
But people putting money on the line are taking impeachment seriously. According to the prediction market Betfair, the chance that Trump will fail to serve out his four-year term is about 50 percent (!). There’s even a 20 to 25 percent probability (!!) that Trump doesn’t finish out 2017 in office, these bettors reckon.
Are those numbers within the realm of reason? It isn’t easy to forecast Trump’s odds of impeachment, or of his removal from office. There isn’t enough data to build a statistical model of it, in the way we would for an election. But we can say that there are two opposite forces tugging strongly on the impeachment rope:
- On the one side, there’s Trump’s escalating pattern of (alleged) misconduct, which increasingly reflects behavior that has been used as grounds for impeachment in the past.
- On the other side, there’s the intense partisan loyalty of Republicans, both among GOP members of Congress and among voters in the states and districts they represent.
So long as these sides are pulling with roughly equal force, Trump isn’t going to be removed from office, which would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. But if something snaps — if Republicans have reason to think Trump has become a liability even in red states — look out. History suggests Trump could be vulnerable under such circumstances, despite the historical rarity of impeachment.
Mod: You can read a lot more on this topic by clicking on the link provided at the top.