Once again, Betfair markets are moving against Donald Trump as the fallout from various legal troubles escalates. Impeachment by the House of Representatives is back down to even money – equivalent to a 50% chance – while his odds to survive a full term have drifted to 1.5 67%. There is money for a 2019 exit, into 4.7 (22%).
Manafort, Cohen revelations compound the pressure
As ever it is hard to keep up. Friday provided a news cycle for the ages, as court filings related to the criminal convictions of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and fixer Michael Cohen were released. In the latter case, the President – aka Individual One – is found to have directed Cohen’s crimes when paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen MacDougall.
We learnt in some detail how Cohen has co-operated extensively with Mueller’s investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. and that White House activities after taking office are under investigation. The Special Prosecutor confirmed the infamous Trump Tower meeting coincided with a sustained Kremlin effort to influence the election.
Likewise, the heavily redacted Manafort evidence appears to lay out collusion with suspected Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik. Earlier last week, further collusion evidence emerged via the co-operation agreement of Michael Flynn. Trump’s initial National Security Advisor – who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and not registering as an agent of the Turkish government – co-operated substantially.
At the current count, 16 different members of Team Trump met with Russians. Critically, a wealth of evidence is working its way through the courts (only some of which is in the public domain) so sacking Mueller wouldn’t end the legal jeopardy.
Butina plea deal could prove the biggest spike yet
Now we have arguably the biggest bombshell yet. Maria Butina- the gun rights activist and alleged Russian spy discussed earlier this year – has reportedly reached a plea deal.