First she blamed Keith Raniere. Now Nancy Salzman is blaming me. Not for all her woes in life — that was the fault of the devil Raniere, who made her do every crime she committed over 20 years of working with him.
Salzman is blaming me for writing about NXIVM-related topics and people involved in supporting it, accusing me of trying to ruin them.
It is for this very reason that she chose to redact every one of her letters of support from friends, family and NXIVM associates that were submitted to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis as part of her sentencing memorandum.
Nancy does not want Frank Report to find out who wrote the letters or what was written in them.
Her attorney, Robert Soloway [pictured above], wrote, “Frank Report weaponizes statements made in support of the Nxivm defendants, and exists for virtually no purpose other than to damage the reputation and fortunes of remaining ‘loyalists.’”
Salzman filed her sentencing memorandum under seal on or about August 30th, without following court procedures which includes getting the judge’s permission to file documents under seal.
On September 5, I wrote to Judge Garaufis “Nancy Salzman will be the fifth defendant to be sentenced in this case – the others being, in chronological order, Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman. With regard to each of those other sentencings, the defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum – or, with respect to Clare Bronfman, her Response to the government’s Sentencing Memorandum – was filed openly on PACER and available for review by the respective victims of those defendants and the general public.”
The following day, Judge Garaufis ordered her attorneys to make the memorandum public by noon the next day, September 7th.
Her attorneys, in compliance with the order, filed her sentencing memorandum publicly, redacting portions of it, including all of her letters of support.
On September 8th, Salzman was sentenced to 42 months in prison and was ordered to report to prison in January.
On September 20th, the judge directed that Salzman explain her “legal justification” for redacting sections of her sentencing memorandum.
On September 27th, her attorney, Robert Solloway, filed the explanation, blaming it on me.
He wrote in part:
“Generally, the defense redactions [for Salzman] are based upon the privacy rights of the innocent third parties who have come forward to support Ms. Salzman, but who wish their support to remain outside the public domain to prevent injury to their commercial interests and livelihoods, and to also avoid vexatious publicity and public scorn if their statements become public.
“We seek to maintain the sealing of both the content of the letters submitted, and the identities of the authors. Should the Court, however, deny our application for complete redaction of the exhibits, we submit under cover of a separate sealed letter to be filed contemporaneously with the instant filing, as Exhibit 1, redacted versions of each supporting letter with highlighting to enable the Court to visualize those sections we seek to redact for the purpose only of protecting the identity of each writer, if not the content.
“Exhibit G to our submission we respectfully submit should remain entirely under seal, because any portion of its content will reveal the identity of the letter writer. In support of continued sealing, we rely upon judicial principles which endorse the protection of privacy rights of innocent third parties who came forward in support of Ms. Salzman, but who would suffer avoidable injury were their statements and identities revealed.
“Founded on such principles, we urge that the three categories of letters presented — family members, close friends, and Nxivm associates — are all subject to complete sealing…
“In this case, many of those who wrote letters on behalf of Ms. Salzman did so fearfully, not because of any reluctance whatsoever to support her, but because of the scandalous, hurtful uses to which their sentiments, if made public, would likely be put.
“As this Court is aware, the Frank Report weaponizes statements made in support of the Nxivm defendants, and exists for virtually no purpose other than to damage the reputation and fortunes of remaining ‘loyalists.’
“Revealing the identities and supportive views memorialized in letters to the Court will add little to the record that has not already been stated publicly by the Court and counsel, and will potentially result in harm to those whose aim was to furnish the Court with firsthand information about Ms. Salzman to facilitate a fully informed sentencing proceeding.
“Revealing the content of the letters and names of such individuals will likely have a chilling effect on those who wish to assist other defendants and courts in future high-profile cases.”
Soloway also mentions that a portion of the redactions concern Salzman’s medical condition, writing:
“As to Ms. Salzman’s privacy rights in her own medical conditions, this is information traditionally considered private. While her need for medical care has been publicly discussed in general as a §3553 [sentencing] factor, medical details have been kept private through redaction. Such details in no way affect any portion of the public, much less a substantial portion.”
The question at hand is “Does a defendant and her supporters have the right to privacy for their letters to a judge in sentencing?”
This may be an interesting question for the judge, as he weighs the constitutional prohibition against secret trials, with its inherent right to inspect and copy public records, versus any extraordinary circumstances justifying restrictions of public access.
Will there be a Frank Report precedent?
In her daughter, Lauren Salzman’s sentencing memorandum, she redacted the names of the letter writers but most of the content was not redacted. This passed muster with the same judge.
In a future post, I will address, the three-part conclusory allegation made by Salzman’s attorney about Frank Report.