By Dianne Lipson
Today there was no testimony before the jury due to the illness of an alternate juror. The trial was adjourned and is expected to continue tomorrow starting with the ongoing testimony of former senior NXIVM member Mark Vicente.
VIcente has been on the stand since late last Tuesday and is still giving direct testimony. He has not been cross-examined by the defense. He testified all day Wednesday and Thursday last week.
Despite the adjournment, there was one matter discussed by the parties before Judge Nicholas Garaufis. [The jury was not present.]
The prosecutors plan to call a law enforcement agent as their third witness [when Vicente concludes] – and they want jurors to see purported financial records of “enemies of NXIVM” such as federal judges, reporters, Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Rick Ross, various reporters, including some from the Albany Times Union, World Jewish Congress, federal judges, Toni Natalie, politicians, political operatives, political consultant Roger Stone, [who once worked briefly for Nxivm], Buffalo-based fixer Steve Pigeon, and Nxivm’s own lawyers.
These records were found at Nancy Salzman’s house when the FBI, during its raid on March 27, 2018, found them in a plastic box. A half million dollars was also found and seized from Salzman’s house.
It appears that the Canadian investigative firm Canaprobe provided some of these records and was at the same time perpetrating a fraud on Nxivm. Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo said the bank records produced by CanaProbe were bogus.
[Canaprobe was sued by the Bronfmans in Montreal for providing bogus financial records for which the sisters paid the company $1 million to spy on NXIVM’s enemies and perceived enemies. There is a fair chance the financial records were indeed bogus since two subcontractors of Canaprobe went to federal prison for faking financial records for other clients for Canaprobe.]
There were also emails from two email accounts, one of which had been created by Emiliano Salinas and the other by Kristin Keeffe [for Raniere] that the prosecution wants to admit in evidence.
Keeffe was Legal Liaison for Nxivm before she left with her son [also Raniere’s son] in 2014, making her the first member of Raniere’s “inner-inner” circle to defect from him. [Two other members of his inner-inner circle, Pam Cafritz and Barbara Jeske, died in 2016 and 2014 respectively from cancer – and, a third, Karen Unterreiner, is expected to testify against Raniere.]
Keeffe has a son with Raniere and said she left to protect her son from the diabolical influence of Raniere. She has since become a whistleblower and provided damning information to law enforcement and attorneys about Raniere’s crimes.
Keeffe also tried to warn Nxivm leaders via email that Raniere was going to get them all indicted due to his criminal behavior. This was back in 201415 and her words now seem prophetic since five other Nxivm members were indicted and have pleaded guilty.
Assistant US Attorney Moria Penza said she wants to admit the two collections of emails in accounts she said were “entirely criminal.”
The defense wants the prosecution to call Keeffe as a witness to discuss what these emails and documents were about.
The prosecution prefers to admit these documents into evidence through their law enforcement agent-witness – arguing they are not going to allege what was in these documents are true. They merely want to admit them to show how the Nxivm enterprise operated: i.e. targeting and investigating enemies.
There was a great deal of material and the defense said the prosecution was bringing a dump truck full of problematic evidence into the courtroom. The defense said they were only informed at 1 AM last night about these materials being introduced as evidence.
There was some push back from the prosecution because even though there was some communication at 1 AM, the defense has had the materials for some time.
The defense argued that the prosecution has a live, available witness [Keeffe] and are choosing not to call her.
The prosecution argued that the defense will have a chance to tell the jury about this evidence and whether it’s bogus or not. The prosecution said Keeffe wasn’t necessary for this.
The judge has not ruled on whether he is going to require Keeffe to be called if these documents are submitted as evidence.