Break in Chain of Custody of Camera Card Not Equivalent to FBI Tampering — Raniere Needs More Evidence for Rule 33

A photo of a Lexar camera card similar to the one seized at the executive library of Keith Raniere.

[Editor’s Note: This is a compilation of comments that K.R. Claviger has posted in recent days when various Frank Report readers – especially Alanzo – have argued that Keith Raniere should be given a new trial because the FBI has admitted that there was a break in the chain-of-custody regarding the camera card/flashcard that contained the nude pictures of Camila. If some of this post seems repetitive,  it’s because Claviger has had to explain the same thing several times to Frank Report readers who don’t understand it the first time – and at least one Frank Report reader who simply doesn’t want to understand it.]

**********

By K.R. Claviger

I haven’t asked Frank about his sources for the posts he’s recently written about the Rule 33 motion that is reportedly going to be filed by Keith Raniere’s latest team of attorneys.

In general, we don’t discuss our sources with one another because most of them have asked us not to disclose their name to anyone else (That’s just the way it is in this business).

I have heard from my own sources that additional analyses were being undertaken with regard to the hard drive and the pictures of Cami. But I have not seen the results of those analyses – and, like everyone else, am curious as to what they will show.

From what I can gather, the new allegations will go well beyond the original admission by the FBI that the chain-of-custody was broken with respect to the hard drive and/or the flashcard (I never considered the break in the chain-of-custody to be a big enough issue that it would result in Keith getting a new trial).

If, in addition to the break in the chain-of-custody, it can also be shown that images were placed on either the hard drive and/or the flashcard after those items were in the possession of the FBI, then that’s a major problem for the prosecution.

I’m looking forward to reading the new analyses to find out what else they claim to have found.

PS/Several months ago, Frank wrote a series of posts about this issue. And in Part 6 of that series (https://frankreport.com/2021/05/19/part-5-cami-pics-tampered-but-true-forensic-expert-fbi-grossly-mishandled-linchpin-evidence/), he wrote about an interview he had conducted with Steven M. Adams, a cyber expert, digital forensics examiner and instructor, and attorney.

Cyber lawyer Steven Abrams has reportedly written a more comprehensive report on alleged tampering of evidence in the case of USA v Raniere by the FBI.

I thought the most interesting thing that Abrams said in that interview was that although he was certain that the evidence had been tampered with, he didn’t necessarily think it was the FBI that did the tampering – and that the tampering could have occurred before the evidence was seized. That adds a whole new twist to this issue about the integrity of the evidence that was found on the hard drive and/or the flashcard.

**********

Break in the Chain-of-Custody Is Not Fatal

The fact that the chain-of-custody was broken in the camera card [flashcard] is a separate issue from whether the evidence was tampered with. As of yet, I have not seen any evidence tying the two things together.

The chain-of-custody issue was revealed during the trial – and was obviously not a major problem for the jury. Once again, the fact that the chain-of-custody was broken only means that the chain-of-custody was broken. Absent additional evidence, that fact cannot be conflated to infer that the evidence was tampered with.

The statement that “If this evidence is found to be tampered with, there should be legal consequences for the prosecutors and the judge” underscores how little some people understand about the U.S. legal system.

The correct statement is that “If this evidence is found to be tampered with, there should be legal consequences for whoever tampered with it”.

“Once again, the fact that the chain-of-custody was broken only means that the chain-of-custody was broken”.

Just because someone keeps repeating that the evidence was “tainted” – and that the prosecutors and the judge knew it was “tainted” – doesn’t make it so.

A break in the chain-of-custody does not make evidence tainted.

The term “tainted evidence” is used to describe evidence that was obtained by illegal means – including, but not limited to, evidence that would not have been obtained except through an illegal search or seizure.

The only other thing I would add is that the proper time to raise objections about the break in the chain-of-custody was at the trial via the filing of a motion to suppress.

I went back and reread the transcript from Day #23 of Keith’s trial – which was when we learned that there was a break in the chain-of-custody regarding the camera card that had been seized and analyzed by the FBI – and Keith’s attorneys did not make a motion to suppress that evidence at that time.

Nor does the record indicate that they made such a motion anytime after that.

In addition, the issue of the break in the chain-of-custody was not raised in the appellant brief that was filed by Jennifer Bonjean (That likely means she considered it to be a non-appealable issue because Keith’s trial attorneys did not try to suppress the evidence during the trial).

This is undoubtedly why Bonjean planned to use a Rule 33 motion to argue that the chain-of-custody issues aside, the evidence in question was tampered with – and, therefore, should not have been admitted at trial.

The problem with such a motion is that, in addition to proving that the evidence was actually tampered with, Keith’s new attorneys, Marc Fernich and Jeffrey Lichtman, will also have to prove that there was no way for Keith’s trial attorneys to have detected that tampering before or during the trial.

A Lexar camera card similar to the one seized at the executive library of Keith Raniere and where the chain of custody was lost after the FBI took possession of it.

My guess is that they will argue that Keith’s trial attorneys simply didn’t have time to detect the tampering because they only learned about the pictures of Cami a few weeks before the trial was scheduled to start. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Keith’s trial attorneys did to test for tampering (If they didn’t do anything, Keith will likely lose the Rule 33 motion but perhaps gain an argument that can be used when he files his separate appeal for “ineffective counsel”).

Keith’s attorneys will have to convince Judge Garuafis (a) that the evidence in question was, in fact, tampered with and (b) that there was no way for Keith’s trial attorneys to have discovered proof that the evidence was tampered with before or during the trial. Sorry but I just don’t see Keith’s attorneys winning on both of those points – especially since they were very well aware of the chain-of-custody issue and could have their own experts examine the evidence to see if there was any evidence of tampering.

 


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K.R. Claviger

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  • “2.) The law is the law. An attorney works within the legal framework, rules and procedures. The law is not malleable.”
    Anonymous

    Reality Check
    ALAN MASTERS, LAWYER LINKED TO WIFE’S MURDER

    Alan Masters, 65, a southwest suburban lawyer whose 1989 trial for plotting his wife’s murder exposed widespread corruption and spawned a television mini-series, died Monday, Oct. 9, in the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., said a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Before being convicted of charges stemming from the 1982 death of his wife Dianne, Mr. Masters worked his connections to a criminal underworld, dabbling in bookmaking and prostitution operations and cultivating relationships with corrupt cops, according to testimony at his trial.

    “He is the one who can put the right public officials in place, the one to make it go, the master fixer,” said one prosecutor during his trial.

    Mr. Masters lived in a luxurious southwest suburban home and held parties with guests including some Cook County sheriff’s police officers, and even one or two judges.
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2000-10-12-0010120192-story.html

    In Chicago, lawyers, judges and cops run bordellos.

    Shadow ‘State

    • Wasn’t there a special hearing held to make sure Keith Rainier was solid with his choice of attorney teams because Clare Bronfman was paying for his defense?

      Won’t it be hard for him to come back now and complain like a crying, baby that his expensive team of lawyers was not good enough to tow his line of bullshit in court?

      This comes right out of his “How to Drag Shit Out in the Legal System” gamebook.
      He doesn’t care, he’s not paying for it.

      Maybe it’s time for Clare Bronfman to get some SHU treatment or be sent to a not-so-nice prison because she continues to support this AssWipe.

      • Yes, there was such a hearing – and Keith did indicate that he was pleased with his team of attorneys. But that doesn’t preclude him from being able to claim “ineffective counsel” – which I have no doubt he will eventually do (Maybe even multiple times). Once again, I remind Frank Report readers that Keith once spent $250,000 of the Bronfman brats’ money to appeal the denial of a Preliminary Injunction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Of course, the Supreme Court declined to even consider the appeal!).

        Clare is already in a “not-so-nice” prison. The place she’s in is a lot like the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) with no outside recreation yard, no sunlight, etc. It’s just newer – and in Philadelphia instead of Brooklyn.

        • Maybe it’s time for the Bronfman family to seek to have Clare Bear declared incompetent to manage her funds just like Britney Spears was found.

          She has given way too much of her trust fund away to Mr. SlimeAss Raniere already.

          When does one’s family step in and say enough is enough? This adult-child needs some help and the rest of the Bronfmans seem to have abandoned her.

    • Shadow-

      Good post! Interesting story!

      I take back 3% of all the mean things I’ve ever said to you. 😉

  • KR, be careful about confusing people with facts. There are several people here who will just not stand for that.

  • Alonzo & Everyone Else,

    Three things:

    1.) K.R. Claviger is an attorney and legal analyst for the Frank Report. He analyzes and explains the legal issues and proceedings.

    2.) The law is the law. An attorney works within the legal framework, rules and procedures. The law is not malleable.

    3.) You might disagree with the law or believe it is not fair. Attacking Claviger is like attacking a scientist for explaining gravity and then getting mad at the scientist because gravity sucks.

    Get the idea?

  • If this goes before Garaufis, they won’t even win a prize from a box of Crackerjacks. Garuaufis hates Raniere.

    I don’t like Raniere and I believe he deserved severe punishment but giving anyone 120-years is more in tune with the Middle Ages than modern society. Garaufis is vindictive and irrational.

    • Explain with facts why you consider him to be vindictive. Explain with facts why Raniere’s sentencing was unfair

    • Cut the crap with your vain and ignorant declarations herein, regarding your offside attempts to read the mind of Judge Nicholas Garaufis and to project your mind’s matter onto his mind’s matter. It is ridiculous. You talk about hate? Look into your own mirror. Is it rife with your very own poisonous drippage? Are you “calm” like a small fish on someone’s hook?

      You simply sound like a fool, noticeably blah- blah-blahing from out of a state of unreconciled, scatterbrained unawareness, and it appears that YOU have an agenda as well.

      It is not working though, not at all, the subjectivity sticks out like a big, fat jiggly potbelly.

      How see-through, how trite, how boring it strikes me that your thought processes show up as being, while I am reading your comment.

      It would be excusable intellectually, if you were twelve or thirteen and still in middle school. The judge does not need your half-wired popularity contest, and neither do I. Relax.

      • Shivani, another beautifully written and hilarious comment!

        “the subjectivity sticks out like a big, fat jiggly potbelly.” …. lol

    • Just Askin’

      True. True. True! I was in court and it was a murder case and there was an expert witness on the stand who was very convincing and was going over all these medical terms. The defense referred to him as Doctor blah blah repeatedly.

      And when the prosecution got up to cross, they only asked a couple of questions.

      They verified that he was a “doctor” and asked him what school he had attended. The “doctor” gave the school name.

      Then the defense asked the doctor, “And does that school have a campus”?

      Doctor, “No”.

      The defense, “We have no more questions”.

      • Prosecution: : Who bought it for you?”

        Mafioso: ” Who bought what?”

        Prosecution: ” The new suit”

  • Great write-up!

    Yeah, I think people confuse how TV conveys evidence and appeals with how it really works in real life. The appeal process is also a very dry and boring process. It’s effectively shuffling paperwork If you tried to film it accurately, it would be dramatic music set over people reading paperwork, printing paperwork, writing paperwork, and handing paperwork off to others to deliver. The chain of evidence issue is very important but not critical depending on what the circumstances are around it. By that I mean it isn’t “Oh shit, chain of custody broke, retrial!!”. I more “It sucks the chain of custody was broken but does that actually impact the facts of the case or that it was reasonable to conclude that it impacted the jury’s decision?”

    Like in this case, there is still the very sticky question of the images existing at all. Loss of chain of evidence doesn’t explain that. Keith would still have to try to make that question not important or pics not coming from him but, in reality, he is quite literally the only person in the world that benefits from naked images of that particular child at that time. There are hints his team is trying to make it look like existing images were manipulated to make her naked or were manufactured whole-cloth butt that has a very high bar to prove (Remember this “evidence” is for judges eyes, not a jury). Ultimately, though regardless of the theories they present, getting past the question of “If the behavior is legal and harmless, why do these pictures exist?” is critical to proving that the breakdown of the chain of custody is worthy of a retrial or dismissing of charges.

    As for consequences of tampering…the agent that did it could be arrested with the real damage being on any cases the agent was involved with. The proof would provide lawyers in any cases the agent was involved in some fantastic ammunition to use in any trial or try to get the cases tossed. This doesn’t mean the cases will be tossed or overturned since most cases are the sum of many people’s efforts and most all those efforts are not traced to one piece of evidence (like you see in TV shows) but for a request for a news trial, it would be like a gift from heaven.

    Ultimately unless they come up with something truly extraordinary (like TV dramatic level), just don’t see it working.

  • Question for K.R.Claviger:

    1. Have you, or any other alias you’ve used, ever benefited in any past litigation involving NXIVM or its members?

    2. Are you going to benefit from any future litigation involving NXIVM or its members?

    If you’ve answered these to your audience here at the Frank Report before, please link me to your answers.

    You present yourself here as a legal expert. We should be able to see why you prop yourself up this way.

    If you have any financial interest in NXIVM or its litigation, we should know it.

    Alanzo

    • No idea where you are going with this. Don’t really care. He could admit he was a janitor that worked in a law office and I wouldn’t care because his analysis is spot on and based on the information available. Not just random made-up theories.

      Thanks for the laugh though. I am sure you thought your questions were very clever, deciding Claviger must have a financial motivation for his posts. Then you thought, I better cover all the bases and make sure he doesn’t benefit in some other way from it, like maybe a fake online identity. So I better ask 2 questions just in case! Except you failed to cover all the bases. You’re like a first baseman standing out in right field

      The question you meant to ask is “Do you, any alias, family, friends or anyone your know or work with benefit from NXIVM litigation directly or indirectly in the past, present or in discussion for future benefit?” How you expect Claviger to know the future beats me but whatever. It’s all silliness so might as throw that in there.

      But

      The really hilarious part is you think those two questions will let us see how Claviger “present yourself here as a legal expert. We should be able to see why you prop yourself up this way.” Your questions have nothing to do with that. Let’s say he says “yes” instead of the rather obvious “no” to your question (cause again, it’s not really 2 questions). How does that prove or disprove whether or not he is a legal expert? Asking if someone benefits in the results of a game (which apparently you didn’t realize is what you’re asking) doesn’t prove or disprove if they are experts on the game they are participating in.

      • These are all good points you make here, Erasend. Thanks for the improvements

        If “Claviger” has benefited from any NXIVM litigation in the past, or if he is say part of Herr Glazer’s legal team, planning to benefit in the future, we should know if he be pimpin.

        It allows us to properly perceive why he is so biased, and why he is so threatened by anyone questioning him in a discussion group.

        You be pimpin, C?

        Alanzo

        • To go back to your original comment in this string, I have never presented myself as a “legal expert”. What I have done is try to explain complex legal concepts in ways that they can be more easily understood by Frank Report readers who were not trained as attorneys.

          Most readers appreciate the explanations I provide – and are happy to add to their knowledge about such matters. A few, such as you, refuse to admit that their original assertion on some legal point was incorrect – e.g., “if there was a break in the chain-of-custody, the evidence is tainted” – and respond by casting aspersions about me, my motivation, etc.

          You have also accused me of calling you names – which is simply not true. When I said you were stupid, I was describing the type of person you are: i.e., one who chooses to ignore factual information and instead relies on their own misunderstanding or misinterpretation of reality. That’s not name-calling, that’s simply a description of the kind of person you are.

          You have also claimed that I am threatened by anyone who questions me on any point. In this regard, I would like you to provide one example of where I have acted in that manner to any Frank Report reader. While it’s true that I grow weary of dealing with people who are unwilling to admit they’re wrong about things – and who respond to corrections by trying to pivot to another talking point – I don’t think that means I am threatened. It simply means that I don’t suffer fools gladly.

          Finally, as to your questions:
          – I have never benefitted in any way from any prior litigation involving NXIVM/ESP or its members.
          – I will not benefit in any way from any current litigation involving NXIVM/ESP or its members.
          – I do not expect to benefit in any way from any future litigation involving NXIVM/ESP or its members because I do not plan to be involved, in any way, with such litigation.

          • Man. You sure are an arrogant prick.

            But thanks for having enough respect for the Frank Report readers to answer my questions.

          • Thanks, Alanzo. With just a few words, you have underscored everything that was in my last comment.

            I think this is a good point to end our discussions – unless, of course, you decide to make future pronouncements about other legal matters you don’t really understand.

          • Thanks, Claviger. Your writing is always very clear and helpful in understanding legal matters

          • LOL. “arrogant prick”. Once again, unknowingly proving everyone else’s take on him was right.

            Since Claviger will not do it (good for him), I have no problem punching down when bored especially since fighting fire with fire is often the proper response: Yes, Alanzo is stupid.

            Intelligence comes across in writing, it’s partly why we as a society still value the written word. If want to know if something spoken is actually intelligent, read the written version of it (like political speeches). You would be surprised how often something that sounds good to the ear, is actually banal and empty once read.

        • Alanzo-

          Sadly the Frank Report will not publish any of my latest comments to you because the editors are worried you are suicidal…

          Cuz you’re a total loser!

          • Nice Guy, this is not like you at all. Alanzo is one of the bright lights of this website, as you have been for so long.

  • Thanks for leaving out all of Claviger’s thin-skinned personal insults of me.

    He really does seem to be threatened by anyone who would question him.

    Alanzo

    • Alanzo was never insulted by Claviger. Claviger provided detailed explanations to Alanzo, despite the insults Alanzo was throwing at Claviger.

      Some of the insulting things Alanzo said to Claviger were calling Claviger:

      -Arrogant and sloppy
      -Captain Obvious.
      -manipulative who uses circular arguments

      You can see the comments with insults from Alanzo here: https://frankreport.com/2021/08/26/raniere-celebrates-61st-birthday-alone-in-a-cell-in-solitary-confinement/#comments

      I think Alanzo is projecting. He is the one who is actively insulting and attacking Claviger and then accusing Claviger of that behavior. That is one thing that’ll psychopaths do: projection.

      It is helpful to call those behaviors out and identify them

      • Without finding the comments, let me guess. Alanzo disagreed, provided his own random theories without pointing to anything specific and declared himself right.

        Is Alanzo with NXIVM? Ex-member? Half his posts seem to disagree with NXIVM, the other half seems to want to support it all. Its like a split personality only along cult lines and which version we see in posts depends on the day. Except both are really bad at supporting whatever their opinion of the day is.

        • “Is Alanzo with NXIVM? Ex-member? Half his posts seem to disagree with NXIVM, the other half seems to want to support it all.

          Take Frank recently, for instance.

          He takes no editorial stance on whether the FBI evidence against Raniere was tampered with, but he supports a thorough investigation because even though he and everyone else hates Raniere, letting the FBI tamper with evidence threatens us all.

          Frank could say – “screw it. It’s Keith Raniere. We hate him. If the FBI had to tamper with evidence to put him away for life, then good.”

          See? Tribalism makes you stupid. Reason is achieved on a case by case basis. In the case of thoroughly investigating the FBI’s handling of this evidence, it serves Keith’s interest. So to tribal ninnies, Frank looks like he’s one of the Nxian Loyalists when he says this.

          But he’s not. He’s just applying reason.

          I agree that some of my stances are confusing for tribal ninnies.

          But that’s not so confusing for you, is it?

          Alanzo

          • And the name calling/labeling. Again.

            Why does Alanzo get a pass on calling other commenters demeaning names?

            Is it because he is mentally impaired?

            I don’t think treating him as “special” is ultimately beneficial to him.

          • Agree with the comment from Anonymous at 11:54. Why does Alanzo get a free pass of insulting others but “LOL” got kicked off the site for minor comments.

            In reply to Alanzo’s comment about how supposedly Frank also has “multiple personalities” like him, Frank Report, from what I understand, supports freedom. So Frank Report will question when people in power try to remove others’ freedom, be that from Raniere or even the US Presidential Election. Frank Report aims to get people to question people in power and whether they are affecting others’ freedom. Most of the stories revolve around Nxivm but that principle of freedom is always present. That does not change. Frank Parlato might change his opinion of people based on evidence he sees. He explains when that change happens. He is not randomly changing sides like Alanzo. It is not something normal. It is good to call these behaviors out.

          • Alonzo is a stereotype. The obese smelly guy who never leaves his basement where he set up his computer. (Unless the pizza guy rings the bell). Don’t you all remember his real picture on FR not long ago? That says it all. Pay him no mind.

          • Just to be clear, Frank is reporting on rumor, not fact. And second-hand rumor at that. Everyone but you seems to realize this. We just enjoy running the scenarios and considering the possibilities.

            In reality (are you familiar with that because I have my doubts), we actually have no idea on the facts of tampering other than it’s a line being pursued. That is it.

            The rest comes from ex-NXIVM members who think it will win them their hero’s freedom. But they have been saying that about a host of things and most of it delusional (see dancing outside a jail whatever that goal was).

            Also, note none of my analysis is particularly tribal, it’s pointing out the simple reality on the ground. And a cynical version of it too. If anything you, Frank and others, are giving the government way too much credit for giving a shit because of your distrust of government (your own tribalism speaking) and are assuming something is there because “government so there must be”.

            The government really doesn’t care nearly as much as you think it does. These complicated conspiracies that people like you create – it’s way more effort than most anything requires or needs. Bending people to your desires can be as simple as saying “I am the smartest man in the world” over and over while not bothering to actually do anything that backs that statement up.

            Before it eventually occurs to you to ask, no I don’t think the FBI messed with the pictures. Not because I trust the FBI (never trust the FBI, seriously it’s why lawyers exist so if they come to say hi and ask for the time of day, reply “lawyer”). Nor because I dislike Keith (I find him entertaining but little else). It’s because his criminal empire is really small potatoes. He was a sorta big fish in a little pond (if being generous). Especially compared to what the FBI and federal prosecutors deal with on the regular. He is literally not worth it for them to make up evidence. They didn’t have to. His DOS activities alone guaranteed a conviction despite technically being legal (but immoral, yeah looking at Clyne when writing that).

            The whole NXIVM thing is, for me, a fascinating story of peoples’ hero-worshipping and tendency to self-delude as a result. And how that delusion continues and attempts to re-write history to avoid their part in events. Keith just positioned himself to benefit from that. Then he allowed his own made-up nonsense to go to his head and, thus, DOS and his downfall was born.

            The legal games are fun to follow. Really though, how this story plays out is pretty damn predictable. He will lose his appeals. He will try to appeal to state and supreme court because he can afford to and they will not bother to hear him. The civil case is a slam dunk, it’s just a question of if there will be a settlement or trial and how much those involved will make. The journey to this knowable end is where the entertainment and fascination lies.

            You are once again projecting your weaknesses. You have a huge hate on for government so assume anything involving government must by default be evil and wrong. Thus of course you have already decided the FBI messed with the evidence, that there was some grand conspiracy against Keith and god knows what else because your coo-coo for cocoa puffs and desperate to be more important than you are while pointing at us and going “You and your tribalism can’t see the truth!”. Even though your truth is quite literally made up and based on misplaced rage and hate. But you occasionally entertain so thanks for that.

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg; “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson; “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He was credited in the Starz docuseries, 'Seduced,' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato has appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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