The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.
Speculating each day on the precise likelihood that Donald Trump will be removed from office or leave the White House before his term ends is taxing work. The Impeach-O-Meter requires regular maintenance. Today, we are outsourcing our work to former chief strategist to the president Steve Bannon. And what does Bannon say? “According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term,” reports Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman. In our terms, that is a 70 percent chance (!) of Trump exiting office early.
Sherman also reports that several people close to the president are now describing him as “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” This is apparently news to several people close to the president. One of Sherman’s sources speculated what Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis might do if Trump ordered a nuclear first strike: “Would they tackle him?” Comforting! The entire piece, which is worth reading, paints a picture of Trump as “increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.”
At times, it sounds almost as though Sherman’s sources are describing an adult day care center:
According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!”
To be fair, Bannon’s reported 70 percent number comes from his apparent view that Trump is likely to be booted out by his own cabinet (!). More from Sherman:
Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?”
So why should we include the 25th Amendment option and Bannon’s reported analysis in something specifically known as “Slate’s Impeach-O-Meter”? Because, don’t tell us how to do our job, that’s why.
Bannon’s number, today, is our number.