I write to comment on the story of North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven possibly doing insider trading in the lead up to the COVID-19 emergency. The allegation that Hoeven used non-public knowledge he gained from an intelligence briefing to guide his investments is misleading.

Hoeven is a proven and dedicated public servant.


Public servants put the public’s interests ahead of their own. In times of conflict, a public servant will sacrifice their own best interests, whether financial or otherwise, for the public’s best interests.

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All public servants, whether elected, appointed or hired, know and behave in a manner that exemplifies their self-sacrifice. When opportunities come along, a true public servant, such as Hoeven, does not take advantage of the situation. Their focus is on helping their fellow citizens and not on furthering or protecting their own interests.

My expectation is that Hoeven will donate the entire investment to a local charity that is working and struggling to keep North Dakotans safe and healthy through these most difficult times.

Public servants know the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest. That is why I would expect Hoeven to place all his investments into a blind trust. Not just to avoid the appearance of a possible conflict of interest but because he is too busy serving as an U.S. senator from the great state of North Dakota.

His time and energies are focused on how best to serve the people. This misleading story implies that he is instead working for his own personal benefit.