Paul Dame: Durham report reveals a government out of bounds

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

Last week the special report issued by special counsel John Durham detailed some disturbing news about the internal working of America’s largest law enforcement agencies. Members of the FBI and the Department of Justice appeared to have abused the power granted to them by the American people in a way that demonstrated a severe political bias and led to improper conduct.

This is ironic because at the time news agencies, like the Atlantic, were convinced by the misinformation from our own government that President Trump’s actions were “Worse Than Watergate,” but the special report appears to not only clear Trump of any charges of colluding with Russia, it goes on instead to suggest these branches of government were conspiring with one presidential candidate in order to harm their opponent.

Paul Dame, chairman of the Vermont GOP

As CNN Anchor Jake Tapper described it, this report was “devastating” and in many ways the truth this report revealed is actually worse than Nixon’s Watergate. The Durham report proved that our nation’s law enforcement agency was far too eager to take the misinformation fed to them by a political campaign, and launch an unwarranted investigation that ensnared the Republican President’s first two years, and cast a shadow over his entire term. Never before have we seen government agents putting their thumb on the scale with the intent to interfere with the narrative surrounding a U.S. Presidential election

Every fair-minded Democrat and Independent should be concerned about what this report uncovers. Because no matter how much some people dislike Trump, that doesn’t justify the FBI and DOJ starting an “investigation” when there was no reliable evidence to begin with. And if it can be done to one political party, it can be done to the other — or a candidate who doesn’t fit the mold of either party.

This is our most serious threat to Democracy. These agencies were originally created to serve a useful purpose that was designed to be of a benefit to the American people. But just like the broom in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, these agencies have gone beyond the intent of their creators. The parallels to the growing concern around AI are on point. No one wants to see something that has a specific and useful purpose grow to a point where it assumes the authority that doesn’t belong to it, because it may exercise that authority in a harmful way. While evil robots trying to destroy humanity is relegated to the realm of science fiction for now, history is all too full of examples of central governments choking the life and liberty out of their constituents.

But there is nothing new under the sun. Our founding fathers understood clearly the principles which are at work today, even if they could not have imagined or dreamed of electricity, computers or AI. Anything with great unilateral power, must have some reliable mechanism to rein in that power when it grows outside of its bounds – because that’s what power has a tendency to do. To me, this is the issue upon which Republicans and Democrats have a foundational disagreement. Democrats have been fighting to continue to build up and strengthen the power of government agencies, by appointing new “czars” and creating new agencies that will promulgate new rules and regulations. Every effort they make to address a problem is to create a new program, a new revenue source with a new group of technocratic oligarchs who will be able to wield their power for good. This is all based on the assumption that Democrats get to prescribe to all of us what their belief of “Good” is, and that is will be equally good for all people.

But the Republican Party was built and established for such a time as this. When these agencies and powers have grown beyond their appropriate authority, it is time to devise an intentional plan to return them to their appropriate bounds. While Democrats are trying to stop and regulate the bad actors they see in the private sector, the value that Republicans bring to the table, is that we are mindful of all the ways we need to curb the bad actors inside our public sector.

Some on the right are calling to abolish the FBI. That might have a whole host of other unintended consequences that haven’t been examined yet. But it is clear that there needs to be considerable reform to create a more functional system of checks and balances within the Executive Branch.

One thing that needs desperate reform is the FISA court. The idea that this court is operating entirely in secret and it’s actions and decisions are unknowable to too many people has proven to have the very kind of dystopian outcomes that many had warned about. When the court grants the authority to place under surveillance the politicians who have oversight of the operations of the court, we know there is a dangerous game in play. Because the court is purposefully one-sided, it means that it is handicapped in its pursuit of truth the way a proper criminal court has two sides to balance it out, and challenge the misinformation from both sides with an adversarial approach.

But its also clear that the FBI and DOJ need some other mechanism of accountability that is missing. We only know about these improprieties because they affected the President of the United States. How many more examples of wrongdoing may exist that just not have risen to the surface yet, because they involve injustices against people whose names we do not know? Thankfully Republicans took back control of the House and are committed to getting to the bottom of this, and other kinds of government abuses of power.

As we start looking more carefully at how our government is operating, it’s clear that Republicans are best suited to shine a spotlight on these kinds of abuses. Our mission, and one of the threads that binds together so many different kinds of Republicans, is the basic and fundamental commitment to the fact that when government power grows, it is usually at the expense of protecting personal freedom.

Republicans want to end the kind of “unlimited power” that comes from an Empire, and restore a Republic, which emphasizes the rights and freedoms of the individuals.

Image courtesy of The White House

18 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Durham report reveals a government out of bounds

  1. There is always a need for oversight and checks and balances. The answer is not to defund the police or the F.B.I. but to make corrections when they are needed. The good news here is that the Durham Investigation created after Trump lost the election was not shut down and allowed to proceed. The Durham results echoed the F.B.I.’s own review about reforms that need to be taken. These need to be monitored to make sure there are not future oversteps.

    The good news too is that investigation of Hunter Biden was not shut down with the change of administrations but continues. Sorting out the facts from heresay with investigations that are unbiased and do not reach conclusions ahead of evidence is the way to go.

    • Are you aware of what groups of American Citizens the FBI is currently labeling as domestic terrorists? FISA abuses…no one is being held accountable.

      Yea it’s good that the Hunter Biden investigation wasn’t shutdown but slow walked over a cliff. I wouldn’t be surprised if they give him immunity for helping them with the case against himself.

  2. Unfortunately our Governor and VTGOP choose to ignore the well documented corruption which isn’t just limited to the Durham report.

    It’s very sad and disappointing. What’s worse is that it appears that the majority of Vermonters are either oblivious to ongoing US government corruption or they don’t care because they feel the outcome supports their political beliefs.

    Our leadership will peacock a little on marginal issues but otherwise they fall in line. Afraid that they will be cancelled. Oh don’t bring up January 6th..what a horrific horrific that we can’t show you pictures because it will show all of the FBI agents in the crowd. I’m sure they weren’t inciting or encouraging anything.

    America needs a hero. Our popular Governor has a megaphone and he could state facts but instead he looks away. Must be getting pretty sore riding that fence.

    • Actually, I think it’s that swaybacked donkey Phil, select GOP brothern and the Progressives are riding off the cliff. Any pains in their backsides are well deserved and earned by their side hustling and empy platitudes. The Democrats are writing their own epitaph even if they don’t see the funeral processsion forming in their wake of self-destruction.

  3. Will the VTGOP.

    DO, (an action word),


    There is a reason you have NO money, no support, no organization.

    You won’t do anything, even when the most obvious, largest crime of the century is laid out in front of you to plainly see.
    The VTGOP reaps what it sows. No seeds, no party.

    national sends their love and support, so ther is that.

    • Vermont is exceptional with a couple of things.

      1) Cancel Culture
      2) Censorship and Propaganda
      3) Creating little marxists.

      The latter is perhaps the most persuasive and influential. Why don’t we have American Loving Vermonters? Because we have been educating a few generations now of socialist, protesting, propaganda loving students. The lies that are being fed to our gen Z are so monumental, the whole life perspective they have been fed is so epically wrong there is no wonder they are depressed, lost, suicidal and not functioning, they are living a life of lies told by their educators, they know not love and truth.

      This is where we need to stand, winning any “governorship” is not any reformation, but a false hope.

      Instead of what we read in VT Digger about the “impeachment” going on in the North East Kingdom, we as the good citizens of Vermont should be gathering around to support God’s country and children.

      Give some small community a choice, a free choice in education. Team up with an institution that has truth and love a weekly discussion and an empty building 6 other days a week, for a facility, take out the pews, resurrect the one room school house.

      Fund it via a program already in place for learning.

      Get the 112,704 people that know what the hell is going on in Vermont and this country to give $10 annually…..

      That would be $1,127,040 dollars, whereby even Rice can educate for $10k a piece and modular instruction via computers with teachers online can do it for $4,000 per year.

      Suddenly you will have people supporting, moving and building in a little town because of truth and love.

      We have created big city problems, because we have brought in big city solutions. The same big city solutions that destroyed, decimated families and crushed our brothers and sisters of a darker skin tone, this is the way of the marxist. We don’t’ need marxism, we need truth and love, the two have trouble coexisting.

      If we aren’t educating in truth and love, we’ll get what the world has to give us, anxiety, hatred, rudeness, impatience, protesters and certainly no peace.

      • Break the back and crush the bones of the corrupt educational system with kind words and acts of love, one town at a time. Suddenly, you’re at the tipping point of 10% of the towns in Vermont and now everyone knows the truth and you’ve only assisted the already failing and bankrupt educational system in Vermont.

        Truth, love and generosity would rule the day. We only need someone to stand up for our children.

  4. So will you be voting to impeach?
    What about the Gov?

    Or do we just do that to the good folks in the Northeast Kingdom?

    Are you pushing for justice? Or is it no justice we’re keeping the Uniparty peace?

  5. How many Vermont Republicans were quick to throw Trump under the bus, including Governor Phil Scott who was more than happy to say he voted for 10% Joe? How many Vermont Republicans continue to support the lies about Jan 6, 2021? How many officials in this State are compromised, complicit, and compensated for peddling and gaslighting lies and deception for their own power and personal gain? Is the salary worth selling your soul and exposing yourselves as unethical, corrupted, co-conspirator thieves? I certainly hope it was worth it as the day of judgement and comeuppence is drawing near.

  6. Gee, Dame is beating a dead horse just to show his penmanship?
    He is again proving he is a totallly, after the fact, leader with zero vision

  7. Out of bounds…. Their criminal in what they did and should be prosecuted if we had a honest judicial system. We need some gallows action for all involved and who knew what was going on clinton comey obola potato head joe and the others. Then we need to clean house at doj, fbi, cia or get rid of them all in management and rebuild.

  8. Although this is off the topic, this is pretty relevant news- that likely won’t be reported in Vermont unless I do this:

    Black Lives Matter, the scam movement that Vermont went ALL IN ON, is headed into bankruptcy.
    They’ve got a 9 million dollar deficit- but they still managed to pay out millions to organizers and relatives..

    I remember reading a whole lot of articles about BLM in Vermont.
    A road was painted.. schools raised their flags.. it’s fair to say this was all quite disturbing to the peace and tranquility of Vermonters that saw through all this from the beginning..and guess who was right.

    So what do all these supporters have to say now?

    This makes me wonder how many other scams these people are destroying the state over as blind followers -obsessed with crony political activism.

  9. Now we know that the seventh floor of the FBI was corrupt to its core. Vermont democrats in Montpelier have destroyed Vermont as we knew it. I was raised here move to join the USAF after my enlistment went to college and was employed by the US government living overseas and various states. Vermont those who moved here are a threat to yesteryear they are a super majorities in Montpelier whose main goal is to destroy, destroy. I will along with others soon move. My father in law who saw planes crash into battleships in WW ll always said we need a revolution. VERMONT is a loss cause with the Trojan horses that have invade.

  10. “As CNN Anchor Jake Tapper described it, this report was “devastating” The assumption being that he’s been oblivious to it for the last half dozen years? There was no subtlety about it. It was right-up-front politically oriented Progressive zealotry. In 2016 they knew with absolute certainty that their coup had succeeded – the champagne was on ice. Then Trump happened – small wonder they pesecute him with a vengeance. By analogy, we can see there’s rain hitting the window. Durham has just opened the window and hit us in the face with it. What remains to be seen: Will anything be done about it? Recent history inveighs against that – for the Progressives. The GOP makes noise and does nothing.

  11. “…a government out of bounds.” Let that sink in folks. Have we empowered our government to manage our lives at such a level that descriptors like “…intrusive, over-reach, oppressive” are appropriate? Can you think of arenas where government shouldn’t have intervened? …areas that ought to be returned to the citizens, privatized? Is the initiative of citizens being smothered by government action? Has the cultural ethos of “there ought to be a law” placed ruling-us over representing-us? Do we want to resurrect the originally intended “bounds” for government?

    • We should have a referendum on any act before it is signed into law.
      That way the people can express their will as they see fit

  12. So, Mr. Dame- here you are confirming what we already knew. Years later.
    Perhaps more of the alleged ‘conspiracy theories’ conservatives have been putting forth are true as well? Perhaps- all that Trump warned us about has credence?
    Perhaps, Vermont’s election law changes enacted in 2020, under the guise of the ‘covid emergency’ and the resulting effect on Vermont’s ballots and ballot counting deserve some GOP attention as well?
    The Durham Report certainly casts a shadow on the manipulation of government and media for a desired result- very similar to the actions of our democrat/progressive friends in Montpelier that have altered the system (and continue to) their advantage.
    I have read that the GOP could not and didn’t put forth qualified candidates for Vermont Offices in 2022. In some cases, that’s correct but in others- very qualified folks stepped up to run. Did the VT GOP step up to it’s maximum ability as well? Clearly not. The State GOP failed it’s stated mission to the voter and citizen- but probably performed as desired by the donor class. State politics have become as dirty as national politics, with the bar having been lowered by the D/P parties. Is Vermont’s GOP equally complicit? I see the current State GOP mission as fund-raising, not electing qualified candidates, nor restoring our election laws to reverse the damage done since 2020.

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