President Donald Trump's chances of impeachment are growing, according to a report published Friday by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Trump's chances of impeachment rose from "low" to "moderate," with the EIU declaring that "the young presidency of Donald Trump is in serious trouble."
According to the EIU — the research arm of the Economist that seeks to inform businesses and financial markets of possible coming risks — the reason for the increased chance of Trump's impeachment is the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia.
"Should the special counsel uncover a major obstruction of justice or the Republicans lose the House of Representatives (the lower house) in the 2018 mid-term elections, Mr. Trump would be in a perilous position," the EIU wrote in its report.
The EIU report goes on to explain why impeachment is so rare, and explicitly says that its "central forecast remains that Mr. Trump will see out his presidential term."
But the report points out that Trump's firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey because he wanted an end to the investigation into possible Russian ties raises the chances that Mueller may find evidence of obstruction of justice.
"Were this to occur, senior Republicans, such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, would decide that the damage done to the Republican Party would be greater if it continued to support the president than if it decided to cut him loose," the EIU writes in its assessment of Trump's impeachment chances.
The EIU adds that Trump's best insurance against impeachment is for Republicans to keep control of the House in November 2018, because the House is where impeachment proceedings begin. And since the majority party determines what makes it to the House floor, Republicans could shield Trump from impeachment if they keep their current majority.
"As always, we note that the president's impulsive character and disregard for protocol means that the unlikely is still possible," the EIU report concludes of Trump's impeachment chances. "But it would take a significant shift in mood, even allowing for his existing transgressions, to switch Republican loyalty away from Mr. Trump."