As week’s go, Donald Trump has had something of a ‘mare.
His former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted of financial wrongdoings, and he is expected to spend a long old time behind bars for a range of tax and bank fraud charges.
Then came the news that the worm had turned. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, has also pleaded guilty to an array of fraud charges and campaign finance violations – in particular the payment of ‘keep your mouth shut’ bribes to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, whom it is alleged the president had an affair with.
The need to keep your approval rating high is key in a US election, and by silencing the two women in question Trump was at least able to fight that battle head on.
It was believed that the bribes were paid out of his election kitty – all kinds of wrong according to US legislation, but Trump insists the money came from his own personal account.
Which, of course, is immoral, rather than just flat out illegal.
Cohen once said he’d take a bullet for Trump, but now it appears as though he will become a chief witness in the case against the president, rather than a keen ally.
The election committee comes down hard on practices it feels are detrimental to a fair electoral campaign, and clearly Trump’s payments to the two women in question were conducted in a manner which would be considered to be influential on the outcome of the vote.
All of this comes on top of the continued investigations into vote rigging in the election, where it is alleged Russian hackers were able to break into the email accounts of key Democrat figures and steal sensitive information.
So yes, not a great week by all accounts for the president, and the betting markets have moved accordingly.
Trump to Be Impeached By the House in His First Term – 4/6
This is an extraordinary market move, with punters backing Trump to be only the third US president in history to be impeached by the House.
The others – Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson – were impeached by the House but failed to get slung out by the Senate, but there is historical precedent, albeit a small amount, for a president to be brought up in front of the House.
Intriguingly, Clinton was impeached for perjury relating to the Monica Lewinsky affair; has Trump committed a similar crime by bribing two women to keep their counsel?
Oddschecker have revealed that his chance of being re-elected in 2020 is reflected in a lengthening in price to 13/8; the lowest probability Trump has enjoyed since taking office.
Trump to Withdraw the US from the UN – 7/1
There’s a plethora of other markets relating to Trump’s immediate and long-term future in the White House, and also those relating to his actions while he is in office….for however long that may be.
An interesting market is that of the US withdrawing from the UN while the Trumpster is in charge.
A perceived threat to US sovereignty does not go down well with Trump and his ‘patriotic’ band of supporters, and in some ways membership of the United Nations can take power away from state figureheads.
You may recall that the USA has already withdrawn from UNESCO and the United Nations Human Rights Council, for the simple reason that Trump wants to have sole charge of making unilateral decisions for America.
The theory of unilateralism dates back to George Washington, and Trump – a proud American – may just fancy pulling his country out of the UN agreement to take his leadership even further to the right wing.
The net is closing in on his presidency, and only bold moves will help to maintain his approval ratings from here.