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Back in November 2016, still a good two months before now-President Trump set foot in the Oval Office for his first day of work, apparently for the American people, odds were 3 to 1 that the bombastic businessman would leave the presidency in shame. With the recent firing of James Comey and Trump's open discussion of how the pressure is now off regarding Russia, oddsmakers are now bumping the odds of a Trump impeachment to a 60 percent certainty.
Irish betting house Paddy Power has had to readjust its odds of a Trump impeachment a few times over the last week or so, with a representative telling The Independent on May 11, “In the past 24 hours alone we’ve seen money for Trump to be impeached in his first term, resulting in us cutting the odds from 10/11 into 4/6.”
Paddy Power is also willing to pony up 25 percent if the impeachment happens in 2017. Paddy Power isn't the only betting house stirring up some action about Trump; William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe has said there's now more buzz about a Trump impeachment than him possibly going forward and actually building the much-ballyhooed wall between Mexico and the United States.
Now, with Trump saying to Russian officials that he "just fired the head of the F.B.I. [James Comey] was crazy, a real nut job,” and saying that firing Comey removed pressure from Trump, those odds of an impeachment are increasing.
Press secretary Sean Spicer was scrambling to protect the president, however, noting that the press was not interpreting the president's words with the intent it was meant.
“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Spicer said in a statement to the Times.
As might be expected, Democrats are putting the pressure on Trump with comparisons to President Richard Nixon's role in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, with Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy openly accusing Trump of obstruction.
“This is what OBSTRUCTION looks like: ‘I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,'” the senator said, via Twitter.
During a recent press conference, Trump reiterated that he had done nothing that warranted criminal charges that could lead to impeachment.
"The entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign - but I can always speak for myself - and the Russians. Zero," Trump said.
Impeachment "is the process by which a standing US official is formally charged with “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”, according to Article Two of the United States Constitution." For a president to be officially removed from office via impeachment, a two-thirds Senate majority needs to be reached in favor of the process. Only two other presidents have been impeached, and both were acquitted: President Andrew Johnson in 1868 and President Bill Clinton 130 years later in 1998. President Richard Nixon was faced with it during Watergate, but resigned before anything could happen.
In Trump's case, odds are relatively good that he's safe - for now. Republicans currently control both Congress and the Senate, but there are rumblings that Republicans might already be fed up with the drama generated thus far in the Trump presidency.
“The tide seems to be changing in town, right?” said one Republican staffer who was not named.
For betting houses, though, it would appear that Trump continues to be a growing boon.
“Trump is the gift that keeps on giving,” Paddy Power’s spokesman Lewis Davey said. “We’ve got a bonanza of betting specials on The Donald. When Trump took to Twitter...to defend [daughter] Ivanka after Nordstrom dropped her clothing line, we were out with a [betting] market on next retailer to drop the Ivanka brand next.”