Day 6

Tracking the Impeach-O-Meter

What are Trump's odds of staying in office? Our political experts weigh the likelihood of impeachment.
(Ben Shannon/CBC)

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.

Here's what our guests have said so far.

Nov. 1, 2019: 'Oh &$@!!!'

U.S. House of Representatives voted to formalize its impeachment process against U.S. President Donald Trump. Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis says that the testimony of two top security officials confirms the "substance" of the charge against Trump. She raises the Impeach-O-Meter to 95 per cent.

Oct. 11, 2019: 'Brace for Impact'

In the face of a formal impeachment probe and a wave of subpoenas, the White House shot back with an eight-page letter stating their refusal to cooperate. Constitutional law scholar and Yale professor Bruce Ackerman says that while this could constitute a constitutional crisis, they're actually not so uncommon in America. He lowered the Impeach-O-Meter to 50 per cent.

Sept. 27, 2019: 'Oh &$@!!!'

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick says there is an extremely good chance the House will vote to impeach. She bumps the probability of impeachment all the way up to 89 per cent.

Sept. 14, 2019: 'Some Turbulence'

The House Judiciary Committee voted to broaden the scope of its investigation into wrongdoing by U.S. President Donald Trump, reinvigorating calls for impeachment. Elie Honig, a former prosecutor and legal analyst with CNN, lowered the Impeach-O-Meter to 30 per cent.

July 27, 2019: 'Some Turbulence'

After a 22-month investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller answered much-anticipated questions publicly about his report on Russian interference during the 2016 election. While some democrats found value in the testimony, many left feeling like "they didn't get what they were looking for" says Shira Tarlo, politics reporter with Salon. She lowers the Impeach-O-Meter to 43 per cent. 

May 31, 2019: 'Brace for Impact'

For the first time since starting his investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller spoke publicly saying that his report does not exonerate the president. Some Democrats said that amounted to a call to begin impeachment proceedings. Eleanor Clift, reporter for the Daily Beast, raises the Impeach-O-Meter to 57 per cent.

May 10, 2019: 'All Good'

White House officials' refusal to comply with House committee subpoenas related to the Mueller report left Congress in a standoff with the Trump administration. Tina Nguyen, reporter for Vanity Fair's The Hive, lowers the Impeach-O-Meter to 6 per cent.

April 19, 2019: 'Some Turbulence'

U.S. Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Marcy Wheeler, independent national security journalist, raises the Impeach-O-Meter to 40 per cent.

March 29, 2019: 'All Good'

The much-anticipated report by special counsel Robert Mueller was submitted to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, and Barr provided a four-page summary two days later. He says Mueller didn't find evidence of collusion, but stopped short of exonerating the president from obstruction of justice. Linda Feldmann, Washington bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor, lowers the Impeach-O-Meter down further to 6 per cent, the lowest it's been since the Impeach-O-Meter started.

March 1, 2019: 'Some Turbulence'

U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer testified in front of a Senate committee this week, calling Trump a "conman," "cheat" and "racist." He also presented copies of a wire transfer sent to adult film star Stormy Daniels and a cheque for $35,000 US in alleged "hush money" from Trump. New York Times opinion writer and podcast host David Leonhardt lowers the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 29 per cent.

Dec. 21, 2018: 'Some Turbulence'

Another eventful week: first, a federal judge tore a strip of Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn, suggesting his actions might be considered treasonous. And Trump's Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigned a day after Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Slate editor Dahlia Lithwick returns, and lowers the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 38.5 per cent.

Dec. 7, 2018: 'Brace for Impact'

Robert Mueller filed sentencing memos this week for three close Trump advisors, including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. Writer and former Democratic Congresswoman, Elizabeth Holtzman, who was part of the House Judiciary Committee that moved to impeach President Nixon, raised the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 70 per cent.

Nov. 9, 2018: 'Some Turbulence'

This week, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. The next day, Donald Trump forced the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The New Republic's Matt Ford lowered the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 25 per cent.

Aug. 24, 2018: 'Some Turbulence'

Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes. On the same day, Micheal Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight charges including campaign finance violations. Cohen went on to admit that Trump directed him to pay adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 US in hush money. Washington Post opinion writer Paul Waldman raised the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 35 per cent.

July 20, 2018: 'Some Turbulence'

President Trump sparked controversy this week when he said he didn't see "any reason why" Russia would have interfered with the 2016 U.S. election, despite evidence found from his own intelligence agencies. This prompted the Irish betting house Paddy Power to raise the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 33 per cent. 

June 8, 2018: 'All Good'

President Trump's controversial assertion that he has an "absolute right" to pardon himself amidst new revelations from the Russia investigation prompts Tina Nguyen of Vanity Fair's The Hive to raise the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 20 per cent.

March 16, 2018: 'All Good'

Democrat Conor Lamb's upset victory in a Pennsylvania special election leads Globe and Mail foreign correspondent Joanna Slater to bump the Impeach-O-Meter reading up to 15 per cent.         

Jan. 19, 2018: 'All Good'

Despite former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's agreement to testify before prosecutors in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, Politico reporter Darren Samuelsohn drops the Impeach-O-Meter reading all the way down to 10 per cent.

Nov. 3, 2017: 'Brace for Impact'

With the arrest of former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, former criminal investigator Seth Abramson pushes the Impeach-O-Meter to 65 per cent.

Sept. 29, 2017:'Some Turbulence' 

The collapse of the latest Republican health care bill causes Slate writer and editor Dahlia Lithwick to bump the Impeach-O-Meter to 35 per cent.

July 28, 2017: 'Some Turbulence' 

In-fighting in the White House and the surprise failure of a Senate vote on health care leads Quartz White House Correspondent, Heather Timmons to move the Impeach-O-Meter to 30 per cent.

July 14, 2017: 'All Good'

With Donald Trump Jr.'s admission that he met with a lawyer linked to the Russian government, BuzzFeed political writer Paul McLeod sets the Impeach-O-Meter at 20 per cent.

June 9, 2017: 'All Good' 

With Republican voters and congressional Republicans still solidly behind Trump, Upworthy writer Parker Molloy puts the Impeach-O-Meter at 15 per cent.

June 2, 2017: 'All Good'

Jared Kushner is identified as a person of interest in the Russia investigation, but with Congress still backing Trump, Lisa Goldman, founding editor at +972 Magazine, puts the Impeach-O-Meter at 10 per cent.

May 19, 2017 'All Good'

Jeet Heer, senior editor with the New Republic,delivers our inaugural Impeach-O-Meter reading, saying that "impeachment is still in the distance, but we're on the train." He puts the odds at 20 per cent.