Keith Raniere may actually have lost his mind – or wants the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, the U.S. District Court judge who will be sentencing him on October 27th, to think he has.
That’s really all anyone can conclude from the latest “strategy” that he has deployed in his effort to prove that he should have never been prosecuted – let alone convicted – for some of the crimes he committed as the head of the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise.
In a letter that was sent on Saturday, September 26th, Seth DuCharme, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has informed Judge Garaufis of the following events that took place on Friday:
- Just before 5:00 PM, Suneel Chakravorty sent an email to DuCharme, former EDNY U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Lesko and Tanya Hajjar.
- Around the same time, approximately ten people – one of who had a video camera – showed up at the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the EDNY and left a paper copy of the attachments to the email.
- Also around the same time, another individual attempted to leave a package of materials at the law firm where former Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza works.
For those who are relatively new readers of the Frank Report, let me explain who each of these individuals is.
Suneel Chakravorty is a passionate follower of Raniere – and one of the leaders of The Forgotten Ones, a group that has been having dancers perform every Friday night outside the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), which is where Keith has been incarcerated since March 2018.
Seth DuCharme is the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).
Richard Donoghue is the former U.S. Attorney for the EDNY (He held that position when Raniere was indicted – and throughout the trial in which Raniere was convicted of seven felonies).
Mark Lesko is the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the EDNY – and was a member of the prosecution team for Raniere’s trial.
Tanya Hajjar is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the EDNY – and was a member of the prosecution team for Raniere’s trial.
Moira Penza is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the EDNY – and was the lead prosecutor for Raniere’s trial.
Demand for Public Accountability
As set forth in his email, Chakravorty sent each of the named parties “a petition, an affidavit, and some signatures of support from the media”.
He also set 5:00 PM on Wednesday, September 30th, as the deadline by which they needed to respond to the so-called affidavit.
As described in the email, “The affidavit contains 8 simple statements that we would like you to review and respond to, either affirming or denying each point, regarding your conduct, and that of your office, in the case of USA v. Keith Raniere et. al (18-cr-204)”.
Chakravorty gave each of the recipients the option of emailing him directly – or sending their responses to email@example.com.
The petition – which was sent on behalf of an entity named “We the People” – begins by noting that their intent is to bring about major reform in the U.S. criminal justice system through a partnership with the media and with a set of well-delineated tools – and to do so “in months, not years or decades”.
It goes to explain that the first tool they will use is “an affidavit process that holds prosecutors accountable through media exposure and public pressure” – and that the first case to which this tool will be applied is that of Keith Raniere, which “has one of the biggest spotlights and incontrovertible evidence of prosecutorial misconduct and corruption”.
The petition indicates that “Mr. Raniere’s prosecutors will be served the enclosed affidavit which contains nine simple statements of basic ethical conduct that every prosecutor should be able to affirm easily and automatically” – and indicates that We the People “have evidence proving they will not be able to honestly affirm even a single statement”.
In addition to noting that each of the named individuals will be asked to affirm or deny the statements set forth in the affidavit, the petition also delineates some of the other “tools” that We the People plan to use to prove that Raniere was unfairly prosecuted and convicted.
These include a “$35,000 innocence challenge, a podcast and other provocative public actions that bring hidden transgressions to light and send a message to judges, prosecutors and federal agents that they answer to us, We the People”.
Thus far, the petition has been signed by four individuals: Walter Pavlo, Amanda Knox, Valentino Dixon, and Donna Davidson (More on them in a future post).
The so-called affidavit contains eight statements (rather than the nine mentioned in the petition) – and asks each of the recipients to initial all the statements they personally affirm or if they deny any of them, to initial and write “denied’ next to their initials. It also gives them the option of attaching an explanation for any of their denials.
The eight statements are as follows:
- We the Prosecutors did not knowingly make any false or misleading statements to the public or the media.
- We the Prosecutors did not knowingly make, or allow any federal agents to make, any false statements to the court.
- We the Prosecutors handled all potential witnesses properly. No witness was in any way intentionally challenged to augment or change his or her opinions or beliefs by us.
- We the Prosecutors never threatened any potential witnesses with indictment in an attempt to dissuade him or her from participating in, or supporting, the defense.
- We the Prosecutors either had no reason to suspect collusion or hidden financial motives amongst our witnesses or we made sure our suspicions were properly investigated We did not object to any evidence, including cross-examination, that might realistically show collusion amongst our witnesses.
- We the Prosecutors have stated in open court we have victims who feared for their lives. We made sure that these representations were properly investigated and, in each case, we discovered there were legitimate threats to the life of the witness.
- We the Prosecutors did not allow any of our witnesses to commit perjury about events and/or evidence known to, or possessed, by us.
- We the Prosecutors have never tampered with evidence. All evidence presented had a well-documented chain of custody, with no gaps. All evidence was secure and there was no unrecorded accesses. No evidence presented was modified before or during forensic analysis.
Kudos to Suneel Chakravorty for a Job Well Done – or Maybe Not
Wow…it’s really hard to know where to start in terms of doling out praise for this masterful plan for getting Keith Raniere’s conviction overturned – and allowing him to return to his glory days as the Vanguard of the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise.
Clearly, this must have taken a great deal of work on Suneel’s part – especially getting such luminaries as Amanda Knox to sign the Petition.
And coming up with those exquisitely-worded eight statements must have taken numerous drafts and re-drafts.
Actually, not so much…
As it turns out, this entire scheme – and the wording of the “affidavit” – were all the work of the inestimable Keith Alan Raniere.
Yep, as the third attachment to the letter to Judge Garaufis clearly shows, it is Keith who deserves all the credit for this brilliant strategy.
It was back on June 9th that Keith emailed the “Affidavit points” to Suneel.
At that time, there were actually 10 points that the prosecutors were going to be asked to affirm or deny.
Here are the other two – which, for some reason, didn’t make it into the final version:
- We the Prosecutors did not know of, and had no reason to suspect, a potential civil law suite [sic] through Neil Glazer involving trial witnesses other than Mark Vicente.
- We the Prosecutors have stated, and allowed to be stated, by sworn affidavit, to the court and elsewhere, Mr. Raniere left the U.S.A. only once to travel to Mexico and never returned until his arrest”.
There is also another email to Suneel dated June 16th in which Keith details additional information regarding each of the ten statements. And we’ll be analyzing that additional information in a later post.
What Happens Next?
What’s going to happen next as a result of yesterday’s activities is unclear – but I’m pretty sure that Judge Garaufis is not going to order that Keith be freed on Monday.
And I’m also pretty sure that Suneel and anyone else associated with this incredibly stupid plan will probably get a visit from an FBI agent and/or a U.S. Marshal sometime in the near future.
Judges and prosecutors do not take kindly to threats and intimidation tactics of any sort.
This is especially true after a disgruntled lawyer recently killed the son – and wounded the husband – of a New Jersey federal judge.
Criminal charges are certainly a possibility here – and this fiasco may well be taken into consideration when the Bureau of Prisons decides where Keith should serve his sentence.
In fact- the chances of Keith being assigned to the supermax facility in Florence Colorado where he will be underground in solitary confinement for years just went up exponentially.
The only question now is whether this latest example of Keith’s contempt for the legal process will finally get a law enforcement official in the Northern District of New York to get off their bribed/blackmailed/intimated asses – and do something to put an end to this cult once and for all.
Clearly, NXIVM/ESP is alive – and even more dangerous and unpredictable now that it’s becoming clear that its leader may be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Here are the documents that were filed today: