Day 6

Trump's odds of staying in office: The Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for June 8

In the Impeach-O-Meter reading for June 8, Tina Nguyen of Vanity Fair's The Hive says Trump's latest statements might not move the needle much, thanks in part to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
(Ben Shannon)

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

It was another tumultuous week in Washington D.C. 

U.S. President Donald Trump faced stern criticism after asserting on Twitter that he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself, even if he committed a crime.

Republican and Democratic primary candidates went head-to-head in eight U.S. states, setting the stage for a tight race that could give the Democrats the balance of power in the House of Representatives this November.

And on Friday, President Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort was charged with obstruction of justice — just days after being accused of witness tampering. 

So we're checking in with the Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter to see if the week's events have shifted the needle.

Every few weeks, Day 6 invites a political analyst to measure the odds of President Donald Trump's impeachment, from one — meaning totally safe in the White House — to 100, meaning impeachment is imminent.

When we last checked in, Globe and Mail correspondent Joanna Slater put the odds of impeachment at 15 per cent — an increase of five per cent over the previous prediction. 

This week, political reporter Tina Nguyen of Vanity Fair's The Hive gave us her reading. Here's what she had to say:

"This past week alone, Donald Trump has given a cornucopia of reasons that he could be impeached. His lawyer submitted a letter to Robert Mueller, who's investigating him for his Russia ties, suggesting that he could pardon himself even if he had committed a crime. And even Trump said, 'I can pardon myself so therefore I'm not guilty.'  Which is possibly the most impeachable thing any president has ever openly said. And in any other presidency that didn't come at this specific time in American history, that would have gotten him impeached instantly. But Trump has been able to lock down the loyalty of his Republican base, and with that, the Republican Congress as well.

So impeachment won't be able to happen unless the Democrats take both the House and Senate. And the Senate is a much easier target for them, since the Republicans only hold it by one seat. And Mitch McConnell, who's the Senate majority leader, did something this week that should throw a giant wrench into the Democrats' plan. He announced that he was cancelling the August recess because the Democrats had 'obstructed too much' or 'didn't get things done for the American people.'

So that's a huge obstacle for anyone trying to steal a Republican seat, or defend their seat from a Republican insurgent."

So where does Nguyen place the probability of Donald Trump's impeachment this week?

"20 per cent."

That marks a slight increase of five per cent over our last prediction. 

That's this week's edition of the Impeach-O-Meter. We'll continue to track the numbers in the weeks to come — and you can follow along here.

To hear Tina Nguyen give her Impeach-O-Meter prediction, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.