Trump Impeachment Odds Skyrocket

Odds are, Trump will not finish his term as president. That’s the latest word from U.S. betting markets and real-money politics prediction companies.

The odds of Trump being impeached has skyrocketed after Friday’s bombshell news that Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI and was cooperating with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Newsweek reports that:

On the real-money politics prediction market, PredictIt, the price of Trump being impeached shot up 8 cents following Friday’s news. It now stands at 41 cents, edging closer to a 50-50 chance that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Trump before the end of his first term…

U.S. betting markets provided further bad news for Trump. The odds on Trump being president by the end of 2018 sunk by the same 8-cent margin, to 63 cents….

British betting firm Ladbrokes cut its odds on Trump being replaced as president by the end of 2018 to 7-4 from 9-4. That equates to a 36 percent probability that Trump will be gone from the Oval Office by the time 2019 rolls around.

He is also rated at even, a 50-50 chance, to leave office due to impeachment or resignation before the end of his first four-year term.

CNBC reports that the stock market took a hit as well:

Stocks finished lower on Friday after a report that Michael Flynn was directed by President Trump to talk to Russians sent investors on a wild ride….

“If you believe the market has been rallying in the last 13 months [on Trump, this report] potentially unravels all of that,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. “Markets don’t like uncertainty and this is the ultimate uncertainty.”

The major averages hit their session lows on the report, with the Dow Jones industrial average briefly dropping 350.45 points before closing 40.76 points lower at 24,231.59.

The news has other connotations for the Trump administration, as former public defender and University of New Hampshire professor Seth Abramson explained in a massive mega-thread he started on Twitter yesterday.

According to Abramson, news of Flynn’s guilty plea was “likely the biggest development in U.S. politics since President Nixon resigned from office during the Watergate scandal.” Abramson added that “This is historic.”

Some other preliminary observations by Abramson included:

  1. First, it’s important to understand that Mueller has entered into a plea deal with Flynn in which Flynn pleads guilty to far less than the available evidence suggests he could be charged with. This indicates that he has cut a deal with Mueller to cooperate in the Russia probe.
  2. We’ve already seen Mueller do this once before in the probe, with George Papadopoulos—who was charged with the same crime as Flynn, Making False Statements, to secure his cooperation with the Russia probe. The Papadopoulos plea affidavit emphasized facts were being left out.
  3. Flynn is widely regarded as dead-to-rights on more charges than Making False Statements—notably, FARA violations (failing to register as a foreign agent of Turkey under the Foreign Agent Registration Act). There’s recently been evidence he was part of a kidnapping plot, too.
  4. Getting charged with just one count of Making False Statements is a great deal for Mike Flynn—it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll escape incarceration, but a) it makes that a possibility (depending on what the parties and judge say and do), and b) any time served may be minimal.
  5. What this suggests is Flynn brings substantial inculpatory info (info tending to incriminate others) to the table. Unlike Papadopoulos, Flynn was going to be—because of his position in the administration—a primary target of the probe. So he had to offer a lot to get this deal.
  6. Deals like this are offered *only* when a witness can incriminate someone “higher up the food-chain” than them. In the case of the nation’s former National Security Advisor, the *only* people above him in the executive-branch hierarchy are the President and the Vice President.
  7. There may be other targets in the Russia probe—such as Attorney General Sessions—at Flynn’s same level in the hierarchy, but unless he could incriminate two or more of them, a deal like this would not be offered to him. And there *aren’t* two or more at his level in this case.
  8. What this indicates—beyond any serious doubt—is the following: Special Counsel Bob Mueller, the former Director of the FBI, believes Mike Flynn’s testimony will *incriminate* the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, or both of these two men.

Samuel Warde
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