Will Donald Trump face impeachment now that former national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty and reportedly turned on Trump? The betting markets seem to think so.
On Friday, news broke that Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador that took place in December. As the New York Times noted, documents related to his guilty plea showed that Flynn’s meeting with Sergey Kislyak was part of a coordinated effort to undermine the existing foreign policy of Barack Obama and came even after a warning from a senior Obama official to stop meddling in foreign affairs before Trump’s inauguration.
There is speculation that Flynn’s guilty plea will now allow him to turn on senior members of the Trump administration, including Trump himself. Newsweek noted that it is still unclear if Donald Trump will face impeachment — as it has yet to be proven that Trump himself knew of the collusion with Russia or that he ordered it — but noted that it may not be coming soon. In order to impeach Trump, a majority of Congress would have to vote to approve it, and as it stands, there are enough Republicans to block the measure.
But the betting markets seem to think that Donald Trump will face impeachment. PredictIt, a site that allows people to wager on the likelihood of political events, saw a surge in bets placed on Trump’s impeachment and saw the odds rise by about 10 percentage points in less than an hour after the news on Michael Flynn was announced.
At the start of the day on Friday, the site noted that Donald Trump had roughly a 33 percent chance of being impeached before the end of his first terms. That shot up to 42 percent just after the Flynn announcement, though dipped a bit before ending the day at 40 percent. It represented the largest jump in Trump’s impeachment odds in the history of the betting site and the first time it has crested 40 percent.
While most of the high-ranking Democrats in Congress have purposely steered clear from talk of impeachment, some are moving forward with plans to have Trump removed from office. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, said this week that he plans to bring forward articles of impeachment to be voted on before Christmas. As Newsweek noted, Green blasted the president for sharing hateful videos about Muslims.
“When hate emanates from a person that has more power than any other person in the world, when hate emanates from the presidency, the solution is impeachment,” Green said. “Impeachment will be voted on before Christmas. I rise to stand against hate.”
To date, there has not been any talk from Democrats about Donald Trump facing impeachment for the Russia investigation.