Traders on PredictIt, a US-based “political stock market”, are currently selling a Trump impeachment outcome at 72 cents – corresponding to a 72% market-defined probability, the lowest odds yet witnessed during the Trump presidency for a successful impeachment outcome. The same market was trading at only 32 cents this time last week.
On Smarkets, the UK’s nearest equivalent to a political outcomes trading platform, the same outcome is currently trading at 58%, having jumped from a September average of 25%.
Pelosi to “Fast-Track” Impeachment Process
According to USA Today, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has indicated that she will be initiating a preliminary inquiry within Congress this week on a possible impeachment process against Trump.
Her desire to move “expeditiously” with an impeachment investigation contrasts sharply with her earlier attitudes on the question where she was largely seen as an obstacle to potential impeachment proceedings.
The current scandal engrossing the White House has arisen on the back of claims from an anonymous whistle-blower who indicated this week that Trump had sought the help of current Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky during a telephone call on July 25 in order to undermine the presidential ambitions of Democratic primary candidate Joe Biden.
Ironically, the release of the transcript of the call was ordered by Trump himself. That observation has lead some commentators to suggest that at least some of Trump’s advisors felt that he has nothing to hide, whilst others speculate that Trump simply over-rode the advice of his inner circle, betraying his own lack of understanding of the implications of doing so.
Current Trump impeachment markets generally do not require that the President be removed from office as a result of impeachment proceedings, merely that an article of impeachment be approved by Congress.