- The political betting market indicates there is very little chance of the Senate convicting Donald Trump
- A two-thirds majority vote is required to convict Trump of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” alleged
- The Democrats need 17 Republican Senators to vote to in favor of conviction to reach two-thirds
Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate is tentatively scheduled to start the week of February 8, 2021. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote, meaning 67 out of the 100 US Senators must vote in favor of conviction to render a guilty verdict.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, so 17 Republicans will need to cross the aisle to convict. The betting market on impeachment shows that to be a longshot.
Trump Conviction Chances
Odds above last updated at 2:53 pm ET, Jan. 29th.
Political bettors at markets like PredictIt.org are trading conviction at just six cents on the dollar. It was as high as 44 cents two weeks ago.
Conviction Chances Are Trending Down
Conviction looked like a real possibility when the House first sent the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber on January 13th. At that time, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that he was not sure how he would vote and that he would “listen to the legal arguments.” This was a monumental departure from his stance during the first impeachment trial in 2020.
CNN has learned that dozens of influential Republicans around Washington — including former top Trump administration officials — have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Donald Trump. https://t.co/rssnaLvFPE
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) January 22, 2021
However, on Tuesday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul brought a point of order to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional. McConnell, along with 44 other GOP Senators, voted in favor of Paul’s motion to dismiss. Only five Republicans sided with the Democrats.
While the 55-45 vote on the point of order means that the trial will proceed, it also foreshadows how the vote on Trump’s guilt will play out. The Republican party line is now clearly against impeachment. Any GOP Senators who side with the Democrats risk their political lives, to some extent.
Could Trump Be Banned from Holding Public Office?
A question being debated in legal circles is whether Trump could be banned from holding public office by way of a simple majority vote, instead of the two-thirds super-majority required to remove a president from office.
The Constitution is ambiguous and the issue has never been addressed by the courts. However, in 1913, the Senate banned a federal judge (Robert Wodrow Archbald) by a simple majority vote, so there is internal precedent in favor of the Democrats.
Stay tuned for further updates on the proceedings.