It is the latest sign – and arguably the surest sign yet – that Donald Trump may just be the ultimate Teflon president.
Extra-marital affairs, accusations of obstruction of justice, contradictory statements and the occasional personal gaff all appeared to be finally catching up with Trump in late May as the odds of a first-term impeachment reached a three month low in light of a growing number of Democrats who had declared their willingness to push for an initial filing.
Robert Mueller’s unusual press conference on May 29 – which was initially seen as a body blow for the president – also appeared to take things into a much higher gear. Mueller’s statement was interpreted in some quarters as a thinly veiled invitation to Congress to pursue impeachment. “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” he said.
Impeachment was, then, once again back on the cards, registering a 41% probability on PredictIt just as Mueller left the podium.
Prices on the outcome, however, have since fallen to a new one-month low, registering 28% at close-of-business last night, albeit demonstrating slight signs of recovery today.
What explains the fall? Firstly, it appears that when House Democrats were declaring their willingness to pursue an impeachment inquiry, it had largely been interpreted as a willingness to pursue impeachment itself. It appears that the market may finally have twigged onto the nuance.
Secondly, Nancy Pelosi appears to have back-tracked on what now appears to have been Mueller-inspired giddiness. “Times have found us,” she told Jimmy Kimmel barely forty-eight hours after Mueller’s statement to the press, suggesting a change in attitude from the House Speaker who had otherwise made no secret of her desire to avoid impeachment proceedings without critical support from the Republican camp.
Pelosi has, however, since reasserted her long-standing position that impeachment may be counter-productive. And with the political scene set to be dominated by growing tension with Iran, Trump may have finally taken killed off momentum for what was likely the Democrat’s last impeachment push.
Image courtesy of garyvarvel.com