Day 6

Trump's odds of staying in office: The Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for November 1

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives formalized its impeachment inquiry by voting in favour of a resolution on the rules going forward. Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis delivers this week's reading.

The House of Representatives has voted to formalize its impeachment inquiry. Will that move the needle?

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

When Donald Trump generates headlines, Day 6 fires up the "Impeach-O-Meter," inviting political experts to estimate the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives. These are, of course, subjective and hypothetical scores and the impeachment process is complex and dependent on many factors.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to formalize its impeachment process against U.S. President Donald Trump.

It was not a vote on whether or not to impeach the president, but it does clear the way for a more open and public phase of the inquiry. All but two Democrats voted in favour of the resolution, and every single House Republican present, voted against.

Also this week, two top national security figures testified that they raised concerns about Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the call that is at the centre of the Impeachment investigation.

So we're firing-up the Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for another reading.

Every few weeks, we ask a political expert to weigh in on the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives, from one — meaning totally safe in the White House — to 100, meaning impeachment is imminent.

When we last checked on Oct. 11, constitutional law expert Bruce Ackerman lowered the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 50 per cent

This week, we asked Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis to give us her reading.

Here's part of what she told Day 6:

There's a lot that happened this week. You had the vote, of course, which moves the process forward. It also takes away a talking point from the Republicans that the process was too secretive. Then you had a parade of witnesses that really confirm the substance of the charge: using the power of the presidency for personal or political gain.

You had Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on Trump's National Security Council, and then you had Lt.-Col. Alexander Vindman who was a National Security Council official in his dark blue military uniform and ribbons, which gave him quite a bit of heft and integrity. And he testified that he was concerned with the July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President Zelensky, and he also said that a transcript of the call was edited to leave out some portions that he tried to add.

There were some attempts to smear him, but those were disavowed even by Republicans because here's a military wounded veteran and a person who had served the country for so many years.

So you're hearing from a parade of folks like this with these tantalizing promises to bring in people like John Bolton who, you know, if he testifies, you can be sure he's gonna be a pretty outspoken and frank witness.

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

So, where does Mary C. Curtis place the odds of a Donald Trump impeachment this week?

"95 per cent," she said.

That marks an increase of 45 points over the previous reading.

We'll continue to track the numbers in the weeks to come, and you can follow along here.

Editor's note: When we started the Impeach-O-Meter, we settled on getting people who watch U.S. politics closely to estimate the odds that Donald Trump's presidency would "end in impeachment." We've come to realize that it wasn't always clear whether that meant that the U.S. House of Representatives would vote to impeach him or that additionally, the U.S. Senate would vote to remove him from office as a result of being impeached by the House of Representatives. 

We've always intended that to mean being impeached by the House of Representatives, so for the sake of clarity, we've changed the language to "the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives." 

To hear Mary C. Curtis give her Impeach-O-Meter prediction, download our podcast or click Listen above.