The Senate trial for former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment is about to wrap up. It isn’t some surprise what the likely outcome will be. What is more surprising is the dereliction of duty from Senators like North Dakota’s John Hoeven. According to reports, he skipped out on jury duty during the House managers presentation of evidence. If the reports are accurate, we need answers to why Hoeven wasn’t fulfilling his duty.

CNN first reported 15 GOP Senators were absent. The day this claim of absence was reported on February 11th. On that day new footage was revealed from inside the Capitol. We saw Vice President Mike Pence being rushed away to safety with his family. Along with his security detail was the “nuclear football” according to reports. Later that day, newly elected Sen. Tommy Tubberville from Alabama inadvertently added new details to the timeline of when President Trump heard of the danger VP Pence was in and when a tweet was fired out targeting Pence from the President.

Senators also witnessed new video solidifying the hero status of Capitol Officer Eugene Goodman. Goodman was seen turning Hoeven’s colleague Sen. Mitt Romney from the mob that had breached the Capitol building. Romney was likely saved from bodily harm or much worse. The least Hoeven could have done was be present to learn that there are indeed heroes among them in the Capitol.

Before the trial even began, North Dakota’s other Senator Kevin Cramer declared this was, “the stupidest week in the U.S. Senate.” He then ran in front of every camera he could find to try and prove himself right with his own words. But, we knew that about Cramer all along. He’s never hid. At least he was present to watch the evidence and absorb the arguments. He is just choosing to ignore the weight of the revelations and his vote. What is Hoeven’s excuse?

The public isn’t naïve. Many understand there was no amount of evidence that would change the outcome of this trial. It is a tragic reality that shows just how far the Senate has fallen from its proud history. That doesn’t give a pass for skipping out on jury duty. Anyone reading this would have consequences if they skipped out on that duty. Journalists and voters should pursue answers from Hoeven to find out the accuracy of the report and where he was and what he was doing that was more important.

UPDATE: The Office of Senator John Hoeven has claimed reports on February 11th are inaccurate.

Tyler Axness
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