Drudge is highlighting this report, Dean’s Trooper Accused of Abuse: What Did He Know About Abuse Allegations; When Did He Know It?

In his presidential campaign, and as governor of Vermont before that, Howard Dean has taken a tough, zero-tolerance stand on domestic violence, accusing the Bush administration of not being committed to the issue. Yet Dean said he had no idea that one of the men closest to him was repeatedly abusing his wife.

Dennis Madore, the state trooper who headed Dean’s security detail for nine years, was “a classic abuser,” according to Jerry Diamond, a Dean supporter and former Vermont attorney general who was the lawyer for Madore’s wife, Donna, when she filed for divorce in 1997.

“There were years of abuse in which she had been struck, had been pushed, shoved in front of the children, both physical and emotional abuse in front of the children,” said Diamond. He said the abuse occurred both before and while Madore worked for Dean. Madore later admitted five separate instances of abuse.

Court records show that Madore’s lawyer, Phil White, also a close friend of Dean, was first made aware of the abuse allegations on March 7, 1997.

On May 23, 1997, Dean inserted himself in the case, filing a three-page affidavit at White’s request for use in a custody hearing, in which he described Madore as “a firm but gentle disciplinarian” and a “wonderful parent.”

According to Diamond, it was a highly unusual move. “I’m sure that there are very few cases on record where a governor might have done that,” he told ABCNEWS.

There may be more to this story than meets the eye but this doesn’t strike me as particularly damning. It looks like Dean was a little too trusting of the guy whose job it was to take a bullet for him for nine years. If I had been otherwise inclined to vote for Dean, this wouldn’t change my mind.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mithras says:

    I like this paragraph especially: Court records show that Madore’s lawyer, Phil White, also a close friend of Dean, was first made aware of the abuse allegations on March 7, 1997.

    That’s right, Dean must be lying because Madore’s lawyer certainly broke lawyer-client confidentiality and told Dean of unproven accusations.


    Hey, are people allowed to curse in your comments?

  2. BigFire says:

    As many posters in Lucianne have noted, this revealation has the classic Clinton-McAuliffe smear job written all over it.

  3. Mithras says:

    Really? I would have thought it had the classic Lucianne smear job written all over it. But that’s because we had 8 years of that, and the Clinton thing is new.

  4. McGehee says:

    Mithras, two words: “travel office.”

    As in, “we want our people in there, and we could just fire or reassign the people working there now, but let’s accuse them of crimes and see if we can send them to prison instead.”

    Or was it Lucianne that did that?