The restitution hearing of Keith Alan Raniere is scheduled for today, Tuesday, July 20 at 2 P.M. at the Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York City – the same building where Raniere was tried and convicted.
A restitution hearing is conducted in order for the judge to hear evidence concerning the US DOJ’s monetary recommendations for alleged victims of the convicted defendant. The hearing is open to the public.
Raniere will attend via video conferencing from the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona where he now resides. Ironically Raniere sued AT&T and Microsoft in 2016 claiming he invented the technology for video conferencing. His arrest in 2017 ended the litigation.
Raniere’s alleged victims are not required to attend and will not likely attend. The judge may not make a final ruling today and instead reserve his decision until a later date.
Most of the alleged victims will be identified by their first names only in court, or by their assigned Jane Doe numbers.
Vaccination apartheid in effect today.
All attendees of the restitution hearing, including counsel for the parties, media representatives, and members of the public, must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and provide the court with their name and contact information for contact tracing purposes in order to enter the courtroom. All attendees must remain masked throughout the proceedings unless instructed to remove them in order to speak.
The requirement of the mask is in contravention to CDC protocol since all attendees of the hearing are likely to have been vaccinated and based on the latest albeit hazy and oft-changing guidance actually do not need masks.
For those who have not joined the cult of vaccination, a live-stream of the proceedings will be available in an adjacent courtroom, with strict capacity limitations and enforcement of social distancing and masking protocols. Attendees who cannot provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination may view the live-stream from the adjacent room.
Frank Report’s correspondent has been fully vaccinated and carries his card with him with pride at all times.
Don’t Expect Exact Quotes in Federal Proceedings
Unlike many state and local courts, the federal judicial system adheres to strict 19th century protocol, not permitting reporters to bring in anything invented in the 20th century or later to help them in their work. They are permitted to bring in a notebook and pen or pencil.
No recording devices or cameras are permitted – even though those items would make the free press a lot freer by allowing reporters – who are not usually stenographers – able to report more accurately on the proceedings – including more direct and accurate quotes.
Judge Would Not Grant One Hour Adjournment
As a signal, perhaps, of how the judge feels about Raniere, his attorney Mark Fernich [pronounced Furnish] asked for an adjournment of one hour – from 2 PM to 3 PM – because his friend and “mentor,” attorney Joel Winograd, died last week (Winograd’s funeral is scheduled today at 11:45 AM today)
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis denied the request. The hearing will proceed as scheduled.
Mark Fernich told Newsweek: “Personal autonomy and individual choice, however unorthodox, are essential values. To the extent Keith’s prosecution infringed those values, I hope to help vindicate them. Government shouldn’t be in the business of policing morality.”
The hearing may be largely perfunctory. Judge Garaufis has already revealed his thinking in a May 2021 memorandum and order, although in that memorandum he stated he was willing to consider additional evidence. In the memorandum, which we will review below, he gives his criteria for who should be qualified as a victim.
In our next post, we will discuss who is likely to get what…