Day 6

Trump's odds of staying in office: The Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for May 31

Democratic calls for impeachment proceedings are gaining strength this week after Robert Mueller spoke publicly for the first time since opening his investigation. Will that move the Impeach-O-Meter needle?

Will this week's public appearance by Robert Mueller move the needle?

The Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift moved the Impeach-O-Meter into 'Brace for Impact' territory with a reading of 57 per cent. (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.

Robert Mueller spoke publicly on Thursday for the first time since he began an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and he was unequivocal: his report does not exonerate the president.

"A president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office," Mueller told the media. "Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider."

Though he said nothing beyond what was already written in his report, Democrats seized the moment to call for impeachment hearings to begin.

"Bob Mueller was essentially referring impeachment to the United States congress," said Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris.

That's why we're once again firing up the Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter.

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 in, Tina Nguyen, a staff writer for Vanity Fair's The Hive, placed the Impeach-O-Meter at six per cent — a 34 per cent decrease from the prior reading.

This week the Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift offered her take on how recent events have affected the president's chances of impeachment.

Here's part of what she told Day 6:

Well the president and his Attorney General William Barr have claimed that the Mueller report exonerates the president from any charges of inappropriate collusion with the Russians, or any obstruction of justice.

And the fact that the special counsel Robert Mueller — who is known informally as the Sphinx because he so rarely speaks in public — the statement emphasizing that if he were able to exonerate the president he would have, and obviously didn't, does move the needle somewhat closer to impeachment.

But we're still a long ways away from the Democrats in the House of Representatives being willing to take the political risk and actually formally launch an impeachment inquiry.

So, where does Eleanor Clift place the odds of a Donald Trump impeachment this week?

"I would put it at 57 per cent," she said.

That marks an increase of 51 per cent 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, starting this week, we've changed the language to "the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives." 

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