The fact Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. will not preside over the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump has raised a host of political and practical questions among scholars and lawmakers about the mechanics and implications of the upcoming trial.

Republicans immediately seized on the news and declared the “American people will know this isn’t a serious impeachment trial” without Roberts presiding. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and the Senate pro tempore, will oversee the trial, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 8. Roberts, through a court representative, did not comment.

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