Betting Against Trump: Bet On Impeachment?
It’s safe to say that the last few weeks have felt like months in the USA, as scandal after scandal has tumbled out of the Trump White House. With a looming inquiry into his Russian ties, the odds of the President’s Trumps impeachment have been slashed.
But what is the most likely way that he will see out his presidency, and how can you potentially profit from it?
What Has Happened Over The Last Few Weeks?
When it comes to taking a political punt on the presidency, the time is perfect. Coming at the end of Trump’s first 100 days, the White House has been mired in controversy. The period saw him push for the building of a wall across the Mexican border, the enacting (and subsequent retraction) of a Muslim ban for cherry-picked countries and a thorough rewriting of the ‘Obamacare’ healthcare system. Several online betting sites soon boxed off unique ‘Donald Trump Specials’ to offer punts on his approach to domestic policy, his relationship with Mexico, and even his family relations.
During this time, allegations of collusion with Russia were touted as a conspiracy theory by many Democrats. But things (metaphorically…thankfully) went nuclear on the 9th of May with his firing of the then-standing FBI director James Comey – the man who was leading the inquiry.
While this was purportedly due to the handling of the Hillary Clinton email fiasco, the timing and framing could not have come at a worse time. Comey had just asked for more resources to continue the Russian probe, and the day after the firing Trump held a meeting with a Russian attaché where he let slip vital intelligence.
Before long, impeachment was in the air, and betting sites began to offer an array of punts on the many different ways he could leave office.
At this point, it’s anybody’s game for what will happen next in this unpredictable presidency. But do you know what you’re actually betting on?
What Is Impeachment?
Ultimately, impeachment is simultaneously not as bad and somehow worse than it sounds. Impeachment in the US is a process where a civil employee or member of government is formally charged with charges for crimes committed whilst in office or – in rarer occasions – before taking their seat. It’s important to realise when punting that this is entirely separate to the actual process of criminal prosecution. When a president is impeached, he doesn’t automatically lose his position – a fact worth knowing when you are betting against Trump. Instead, an impeached president is only removed from their seat once they are formally committed of a crime – which can take an extremely long time in the judicial system.
While impeachment doesn’t mean that the individual is instantly ejected or arrested, it is an almost inescapable political death sentence. Colleagues will not longer associate with them for fear of tainting their image, opposition members will have endless fodder to use for critique and a critical mass of negative publicity will accompany the methodical conducting of the process, impeachment, and potential trial.
But, realistically, will he be impeached? The president has already carried out multiple impeachable offences from a failure to divest himself from his interests, to claims of nepotism in employing family members, and even using his public platform to funnel publicity to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
But even if an offence is found, there needs to be a will to prosecute.
To impeach the President, a vote will have to be passed by the House and Senate. Republicans currently have a majority of seats in both houses, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has made his career in obstructing every Democratic policy that passed through his doors. It is also worth noting that no American president has ever been put on trial or jailed.
But this is an unprecedented presidency in every way, so it’s no surprise that the odds-on impeachment, ejection and even assassination have been slashed across the board.
So How Should You Bet On Trump’s Presidency?
Before you put any money down, it’s vitally important to remember that when it comes to honouring any political bets – it is up to the site’s discretion to determine whether or not the final decision reached honours the terms and conditions of the bet.
Therefore, choose carefully when putting your readies down and, if you choose to do so, think hard about the bet you are placing.
Impeachment: As mentioned above, impeachment is currently a difficult proposition, one so likely in fact that sites will ask you in no uncertain terms to name exactly what will he be impeached for. Some choices include treason, perjury, tax evasion, and even theft.
What Are Other Options On The Cards?
The 25th Amendment: Ratified in 1967, this addresses any issue which might make the president unfit to hold office and details the steps involved for replacing the president if he is not fit to conduct his duties. While a seemingly small clause, it provides a mechanism to safeguard against a president who oversteps his purview, runs riot, or ends up suffering from a dehabilitating disease. At 70, Trump is one of the oldest elected presidents and has gone on record as saying that he doesn’t exercise and enjoys steak and ketchup for dinner. The presidential office has a habit of aging its holder (try Googling, ‘President before and after’) Trump’s already questionable health is likely to take a pounding and could see him ejected against his own will.
Incarceration: Out of all these options, incarceration is probably the least likely. However, although America tends to go lightly on elected officials, it’s worth remembering that Trump’s history of litigations is as long as his tie and he has been dealing with active lawsuits since being sworn in as president.
Bowing out: After an underwhelming first 100 days and rampant infighting in his inner circle, it is likely that the administration is going to continue to stall from this point on. Surrounded by leakers and with public opinion turning against him, Trump has admitted in interviews that he misses his old life. Judging everything in terms of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’, there is every likelihood that Trump will try to save face and bow out after one term, stating that he did what he set out to do. The chaos that happens after that will be truly worth betting on…