Trump's odds of staying in office: The Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for March 29
Will the summary of Robert Mueller's report move the needle?
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's been a relatively good week for U.S. President Donald Trump.
The much-anticipated report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was submitted to Attorney General William Barr late last Friday. Over the weekend, Barr released a four-page summary of the report, which says that Mueller found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump claimed it was "total exoneration." Barr, however, says that Mueller did not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice. In his report, Barr writes that the evidence in Mueller's investigation was not sufficient to claim the president obstructed justice.
While the public hasn't yet seen the full report — which is reportedly 300 pages long — Mueller and his office won't be recommending any more indictments in this investigation. There are, however, other investigations and cases against Trump and his associates that are ongoing.
This was big news for Trump's supporters and critics alike, so Day 6 has fired up the Impeach-O-Meter for the second time this month.
Every few weeks, we ask a political expert to weigh in on the odds of Trump being impeached, from one — meaning totally safe in the White House — to 100, meaning impeachment is imminent.
When we last ran the Impeach-O-Meter, New York Times opinion writer David Leonhardt gave a reading of "a still serious" 29 per cent — a 9.5 per cent drop from the prior reading.
This week, Linda Feldmann, Washington bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor, offered her take on the president's chances of impeachment.
Here's what she had to say:
The submission of the Muller report has dramatically reduced, I think, the possibility that Donald Trump will be impeached.
This really took the wind out of the sails of the pro-impeachment crowd. The Democratic leadership in the House, which is where impeachment takes place, believes that a move to impeach Donald Trump would actually give him exactly what he wants which is a big fight.
And, it would show to the president and his supporters that the Democrats are out to get him and remove him by means other than election, almost in the form of a coup. And Nancy Pelosi and company do not want to give him that battle. The effort now moves toward trying to remove Donald Trump the old fashioned way, which is by defeating him for re-election in November of 2020.
The chance of Donald Trump being impeached before the end of his first term is not zero because of two things. One, when we see the full Mueller report — maybe in a few weeks — we might see some things in there that lead others to investigate more. You've got the congressional investigations. We could learn some things about Trump that ramp up the chance of impeachment.
The other thing is that there are a variety of additional investigations and legal cases, both in federal and state court, investigating Donald Trump's finances, his businesses, his inaugural committee — and it's possible that aspects of his activity in his life come out that cause Republicans to think that he really should be removed from office.
But, as I said, I think the chances of this are pretty remote.
So, where does Linda Feldmann place the odds of a Donald Trump impeachment this week?
"The number is six per cent," she says.
That marks a 23 per cent drop from David Leonhardt at the beginning of the month.
We'll continue to track the numbers in the weeks to come, and you can follow along here.
To hear Linda Feldmann give her Impeach-O-Meter prediction, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page