Asst. US Attorney Calls Raniere Tampering Motion ‘Frivolous’

Within hours of Keith Raniere’s attorney filing a motion to suspend his appeal, the US Attorney’s Office responded with its own filing. Assistant US Attorney Kevin Trowel called Raniere’s claims of FBI tampering “frivolous.”

Raniere’s lawyer, Joseph Tully, filed a motion before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit seeking a delay of his appeal based on Raniere’s allegation that the FBI tampered with photos of Camila and other women in his criminal trial.

All appeal briefs and replies have been filed with the Appellate Court. Only oral arguments remain before the three-judge panel will deliberate and make a final decision. The oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd.

Keith Raniere’s attorney, Joseph M. Tully.

Tully seeks to bring Raniere’s Rule 33 motion for a new trial first. A Rule 33 motion is brought before the District Court.


When Tully filed his motion to stay the appeal, he checked the box that indicates the government does not oppose his motion to postpone.

Assistant US Attorney Trowel disagreed, writing, “Raniere’s motion incorrectly states that his motion is ‘unopposed.’ For the avoidance of doubt, the government strongly opposes his motion to stay his appeal.”

Tampering Motion Is ‘Frivolous’

Trowel continued, “There is no legal or factual basis to stay the appeal, much less to stay it just two business days before oral argument. Raniere’s assertion of government ‘malfeasance’ is frivolous, and the government will address that assertion on the merits at such time as Raniere makes the motion in the appropriate forum, and the government is directed to respond to it.

“The crux of Raniere’s argument appears to be that the Federal Bureau of Investigation manipulated ‘computer images and photographs’ of Raniere’s victim Camila ‘to make it appear that these photographs were taken in 2005: i.e., when Camila was a minor.

“But, as noted in the government’s brief on appeal, Camila appeared at Raniere’s sentencing and herself confirmed that ‘in September 2005, ‘when she was still fifteen, [Raniere] took naked pictures of [her].’”

Trowel also believes that the motion under Rule 33 is inappropriate. He wrote that a Rule 37 motion is the better mechanism.

Trowel wrote, “the appropriate mechanism by which Raniere may seek relief is Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 37. If Raniere files his motion in the district court, Rule 37 provides that the district court may defer the motion, deny the motion or ‘state either that it would grant the motion if the court of appeals remands for that purpose or that the motion raises a substantial issue.

“Further, even if the district court were to issue an ‘indicative ruling’ under Rule 37, this Court ‘may’ — not ‘must’ — remand for further proceedings while retaining jurisdiction.

“The Court should reject Raniere’s effort to bypass these procedural mechanisms and thereby defer resolution of the issues that the parties are prepared to argue before the Court on May 3, 2022.”


Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

With Rule 37, Trowel argues, Judge Garaufis has the option of

  1. Denying the motion
  2. Defer the motion until the appeal is resolved,
  3. He could tell the Court of Appeals that if it sent the case back to him, he would grant Raniere a new trial.
  4. He could tell the Court of Appeals that the Rule 37 motion raises a significant issue, which means he could call for a hearing on the evidence.

Tully Wants to Argue From California

Meanwhile, Tully hopes not to appear in person in NYC on May 3rd if the appeal goes forward on Tuesday with oral arguments. The Appellate Court gives him five minutes to make oral arguments. Clare Bronfman, who appeals her sentence, is also given five minutes. Her lawyer, Duncan Levin, has offices in NYC. The government is given ten minutes to rebut both defendants. They are in Brooklyn, NY

Tully lives in California.

He wrote, “I am set to orally argue on behalf of Mr. Keith Raniere in this matter. I am writing to request permission to appear and argue remotely.

“Good cause exists for remote oral argument, as I am located in California, and appearing in person would necessitate over fifteen hours of travel, all during our current pandemic as COVID-19 continues to be present and infectious.

“The total time allotted for this hearing is twenty minutes, with five minutes for each defense counsel and ten minutes for the government. The health risk weighed against a short argument provides good cause to allow me on behalf of Mr. Raniere to argue orally remotely, especially in light of an absence of prejudice to this Court or any party.

“Neither the government nor Ms. Bronfman’s counsel objects to me arguing remotely, as long as they are both permitted to argue before this Honorable Court in person. Therefore, I respectfully request that this Honorable Court allow this argument to be a hybrid of in-person and remote appearances.

“Mr. Raniere also respectfully requests to appear remotely. He is presently incarcerated at a United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona.
Therefore, I respectfully request that the Court grant this request and allow me to argue remotely on May 3, 2022.”

Tully wants to appear remotely, and wishes his client, Raniere, may also appear remotely from his prison in Tucson.

The court may have to rule early on Monday. Otherwise Tully may have to fly out later on Monday to be on time for his appearance for the oral arguments on Tuesday morning.

Clare Wants Her Passport

Clare Bronfman attorney, Duncan Levin
Clare Bronfman’s attorney, Duncan Levin, wants her passport. He wrote to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis: “We respectfully write to ask the Court to so-order the release of Ms. Bronfman’s passport from pre-trial services. We have consulted Ms. [Tanya] Hajjar, and the government has no objection to this request.”

Bronfman is in the maximum security, Philadelphia Detention Center. However, her lawyers said in a filing that she would be transferred to the Federal Penitentiary in Danbury. USP Danbury is a low security prison.

Her release date is June 29, 2026.

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  • Granted, I don’t know all of the facts, but can someone explain:

    1. If Camila was one of the reasons he got convicted (at least on one count) and was a big reason why his codefendants turned on him, why didn’t he at least deny or put up a defense that he took pics of her as a 15-year-old?

    2. If the lawyer and Suneel et al had all this evidence — I think for at least a year — why did the attorney wait DAYS before the appeal hearing to even do anything about it?

    If they actually thought there was something that could be done, what is the point of waiting and letting The Vanguard rot in prison with no hope?

    The whole thing makes no sense and smacks of desperation.

    • Kay-

      “Why didn’t he at least deny or put up a defense that he took pics of her as a 15-year-old?”


      I’d love for Suneel to explain “why”.

      • Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – is saying Keith didn’t do it. The only question is if the FBI cheated.

  • Now there should be just as many posts constantly talking about how stupidly this was filed and how ridiculous the motion was and what an idiot Tully is and how all the dead-enders’ claims have not held up to scrutiny. To maintain the pretense that this blog is not biased.

    And just to create some balance on this blog for all the previous propaganda articles posted touting this trash legal move as some legit big deal. And an apology to those called “liars” would be nice too. But is unexpected.

  • Our new Minister of Truth, Nina Jankowicz, started out as a musician with a band that was inspired by Harry Potter.
    This Wizard Rock band was called “The Moaning Myrtles.
    The Moaning Myrtles
    8 hours ago
    This is the woman who will decide who gets sent to the Gulag for posting memes on Twitter

  • Nina Jankowicz, the new buffoonish Big Sister with the power to determine what you can read, hear and say, works for the US government’s Wilson Center.
    The Wilson Center is a government owned think tank named for a President who suffered a stroke in 1919 and schemed to get America involved in World War I.
    Before his stroke Woodrow Wilson was a racist and professional liar.
    Wilson Center

    Former Global Fellow
    Science and Technology Innovation Program
    Kennan Institute
    June 1, 2021 — August 31, 2023
    Former Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow
    Malign Creativity: How Gender, Sex, and Lies are Weaponized Against Women Online
    Bridging the Trust Gap: How the West Can Learn from Eastern EU’s Experience Battling Russian Disinformation.
    Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (Bloomsbury/IBTauris). Ms. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others. She is a frequent television and radio commentator on disinformation and Russian and Eastern European affairs. Prior to her Fulbright grant in Ukraine, Ms. Jankowicz managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She received her MA in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College.

    Biden Plans a “Disinformation” Board Run by INSANE TikToker

  • See ya, dead Enders. All this hub hub for almost two years about this supposed smoking gun Rule 33 by Bobblehead and Nicki and it’s a nothing burger (but we all already knew that). Not to mention it’s not even the right mechanism, should have been Rule 37. Mind blowing the smartest man in the world and all the money in the world for the best attorneys and they fumbled on the proper procedural mechanism. Frivolous is right!

  • Tully made more mistakes than you’ve outlined. He’s a clown. He knew where the case would be and now he’s too frail to fly?

    And it’s about 6 hours of air travel. Where the fuck did he come up with 15 hours? Is he walking there?

    E. Coast to. W. Coast hadn’t taken 15 hours of flying since hot air balloons or is he taking a blimp?

    • Most clever attorneys can always find extra billable hours somewhere. Pre-flight charging of laptop: 0.3 hours. Review of airline’s Contract of Carriage to determine who I can sue if flight does not arrive within two hours of published arrival time: 0.6 hours. Listening to Smokey Robinson’s “I Second That e-Motion” in preparation for PACER filing: 0.16 hours. It all adds up.

  • “When Tully filed his motion to stay the appeal, he checked the box that indicates the government does not oppose his motion…”


    “ …as I am located in California, and appearing in person would necessitate over fifteen hours of travel, all during our current pandemic as COVID-19…

    Seems to me Raniere’s lawyer isn’t all that dedicated to the cause. Literally “phoning it in”. And really, the COVID excuse? Still? Airlines no longer even require masks on planes.

    Of course I can’t really blame Mr.Tully. It’s one thing to file a silly frivolous motion, it’s quite another thing to have to face the judge in person and attempt defending it.

  • Frank loves himself some Mary Astor. Does Anna know? Pretty sure he sees himself as Sam Spade, with some sort of congruence to his real life investigation into NXIVM. Frank’s real life crush though is Catherine O. Will there be a reunion between them in Vow Season 2? We’ll find out soon enough!

    FWIW Ice-nine has always been more of an Audrey Hepburn guy.

    • Ice Nine — I never had a crush in my life since 2nd grade. I like Sam Spade, but he is a little coarse for my taste. He had an adulterous sneaky relationship with his partner’s wife. He took his partner’s name off the door the day after being killed. And he punched little Peter Lorre and manhandled little Elisha Cook.

      Bogart was maybe 5’6″, and they had to get two guys who were like 5′ 2″ for him to beat up? And to top it all, he dumped his partner’s wife right after he died.

      But I do think Bogart’s toupee was superb.

      • Don’t worry Frank, I like you!

        What about Cagney?!?!?
        Let’s call a spade a spade — he was the greatest actor of all time! Irish actor

        The movie Public Enemy showcased Cagney’s superior acting chops when compared to Bogart, who played the villainous (foil) in the movie.

        Cagney, unlike Raniere, was a black belt in Judo.

        Cagney’s movie Blood on the Sun featured a Judo fight scene. It was the first appearance of Asian martial arts on the silver screen.

        Bogart is second fiddle as they use to say to James Cagney!!!!!

        Did Cagney die yellow in Public Enemy?

  • Here I have something that would have been very useful and helpful to Dr. Danielle Roberts and Dr. Brandon Porter at an earlier time had they known and followed it. In other countries, there is support for physicians when they have problems or get into conflicts or don’t know how to act in certain situations.

    [My additional information for understanding MDA National:
    MDA National is an Australia-wide Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) that provides exemplary Member support services, and extensive professional indemnity insurance to more than 54,000 medical practitioners, medical students and insureds.
    Doctors for doctors since 1925, MDA National is a Member-owned mutual that exists solely to support and protect members and promote good medical practice.]

    MDA National

    12 commandments to mitigate Ahpra notifications
    26 Nov 2021

    by Daniel Spencer

    12 commandments to mitigate Aphra notifications
    A cheat sheet for practitioners to help your future self and reduce the risk of patient complaints.
    Despite the instant anxiety brought on by the word ‘notification’, practitioners can take positive steps to ensure they’re well placed to deal with one that (inevitably) comes their way.

    While the receipt of a notification is not within your control, what you do in caring for your patients – from an initial consult through to discharge – certainly is. And while it’s the quality of care that is critically important, the documentation of such care is equally so.

    We believe there are a number of ‘controllables’ for practitioners in seeking to mitigate any adverse finding by the Medical Board. While these may seem onerous at the time, your future self may just praise you for going the extra distance.

    The 12 commandments

    Keep full, accurate and contemporaneous clinical records.
    This is a challenge with the busyness of everyday practice. It’s critical to record the process of taking informed consent and the actual risks discussed (rather than simply stating they were discussed) and making a note of any documentation you’ve provided to the patient. Templates can assist in this regard, provided they are thorough and up to date.

    Communicate clearly with patients and colleagues.
    This cannot be overstated. Try to document all conversations, or follow up important conversations with an email, where there’s potential for dispute (pretty much always!).

    Be open and honest, and apologise if something goes wrong.
    Importantly, do not actively dissuade aggrieved patients (or anyone) from making a notification. That said, be careful about apologising where it could be construed as an admission of liability (see commandment 12).

    Seek advice from colleagues or mentors when unsure.
    This may help you defend your decision-making and assists in developing a collegiate profession.

    Respect professional boundaries.
    Be aware of boundaries with patients and colleagues. Seek to terminate a therapeutic relationship at the first sign of a relationship evolving into something personal.

    Use a chaperone where appropriate.
    Chaperones are there to protect you (as well as the patient). Their presence can be critical when defending allegations of sexual misconduct – which can mean being out of practice for 12 months or more.

    Be informed and cognisant of Medicare requirements.
    Be aware of requirements regarding the billing of items. Regularly review Medicare updates and engage in open discussion with colleagues. Don’t assume your billing is fine “because everyone else is doing it”. This defence won’t fly with Medicare.

    Don’t self-prescribe, and don’t prescribe for your friends and family.
    The various codes of conduct stipulate this should be avoided wherever possible. If you have to do so, be prepared to justify your decision, make a clear record of what you have done, and advise the patient’s GP in writing, including your clinical reasoning (unless the patient objects).

    Use social media with caution.
    Be very careful when using social media (even on your personal pages), when authoring papers, or when appearing in interviews. Health practitioners are obliged to ensure their views are consistent with public health messaging. This is particularly relevant in current times.

    Engage regularly with a GP and/or psychiatrist or psychologist.
    As well as maintaining good mental health, this can assist you if concerns are ever raised that you may have a health impairment affecting your practice. It can mean the difference between sitting on the sidelines and continuing to practise.

    Be a good colleague and allow your colleagues to support you.
    Asking for help can prevent a situation escalating out of control.

    Your MDO is your lifeline.
    Seek advice from your medical defence organisation (MDO) before responding to any complaint. They have generally been there and done it. Put your faith in them and trust their advice.

    Subscribe to MDA National’s biannual Member publication, Defence Update, for the latest medico-legal updates, articles and case studies here.
    Communication with Colleagues, Communication with Patients, Confidentiality and Privacy, Clinical, Complaints and Adverse Events, Consent, Doctors Health and Wellbeing, Employment Essentials, Medical Records and Reports, Regulation and Legislation, Technology, Anaesthesia, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, General Practice, Intensive Care Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Practice Manager Or Owner, Psychiatry, Radiology, Sports Medicine, Surgery, Physician, Geriatric Medicine, Cardiology, Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Paediatrics, Independent Medical Assessor – IME, Gastroenterology

  • Why does Clare need her passport at this point while she is in prison?
    And as far as I know, there are countries where prison inmates do not get their identification documents or passports back until they are released. It would be foolish to give such a document to a prison inmate or a trusted person before they have served their prison sentence or dropped conditions of a parole not to travel abroad. However, it is good for people escaping from prison to use their passports to flee the country.

    • Because it is easier to renew a passport when you have one. She is probably planning to relocate after her sentence is over, and wants to be ready.

      • Moving abroad? Does this affect the civil process if it is not yet finished and appeals are underway and she absconds abroad?

    • Why does Clare need her passport at this point while she is in prison?

      The Bronfmans plan to buy a Presidential pardon for Clare from Joe Biden.

      • Presidents from all parties issue controversial pardons. For instance:
        Trump: Stone, Flynn, Manafort and Kushner senior (look this one up on google, what an evil guy)

        Clinton: Marc Rich
        Prosperi. His is not a controversial pardon but I mention him just to fuel your hatred for everything “Clinton”: Prosperi (college friend of Bill, tax fraud conviction) visited Jeffrey Epstein at least 20 times when he was in jail in 2009! Return favor for Bill?

        Don’t worry Shadow,
        Biden will get a second term, so Clare will serve her full sentence.

        • Here’s another Trump pardon:

          Blagojevich, 63, was sentenced in 2011 to 14 years in federal prison on corruption charges related to his solicitation of bribes in an attempt to “sell” the Senate.

          Nothing stinky here, is there Herr Shadow.

      • Raniere should prepare for his legal triumph and also make a request that he get his passport back immediately. After all, after his successful appeal, he can immediately leave prison.

  • Correct. Entirely frivolous.

    Any last minute motion that starts its “evidence” of government malfeasance by freaking out over the FBI looking for DOS blackmail material on a hard drive and camera located in an office rather than a cookie jar in the kitchen isn’t worth the court’s time to read.

    What do you want to bet not a single judge read a word. One of their clerks probably barely made it two pages in before they started drafting the very short “motion denied” response.

    Will Vanguard hire another lawyer to finally fine the rumored Rule 33 (not 37) motion before the clock runs out?

    When Raniere loses his appeal soon, it will be fun to watch how Suneel, Nicki and anyone else who has even looked at the DOS blackmail material react when the US Marshals come knocking looking to collect said DOS blackmail material.

    Well… at least Suneel seems smart enough to hire a competent attorney. Nicki… not so much.

    Viva Executive Success®!!!!!

    Viva Ring Dings®!!!!!

    Nice Guy Certified® Comedy Triple Platinum Award Winner 💿💿💿

  • Wait, what?!?

    ““But, as noted in the government’s brief on appeal, Camila appeared at Raniere’s sentencing and herself confirmed that ‘in September 2005, ‘when she was still fifteen, [Raniere] took naked pictures of [her].’”

    Camila already confirmed the veracity of the pictures! How is this not common knowledge for those following this case (or at least its new info to me). Are there exact words from the court record to read?

    Sure, during sentencing so while on official court record, it’s not in a situation that allowed for cross examination, but for the purposes of Suneel et al argument that their support of Keith was dependent on him not having committed pedophilia, this meets that requirement.

    I keep saying that Suneel, Clyne etc. have shown repeatedly that lack of morals but my god I didn’t realize it was this deranged. I thought they just were taking Keith’s word that he had no relations with her and the pictures were fake – and his word was enough because she never stepped forward to speak up for herself. This is a whole different ballgame. It’s not he said/she said. It’s she said with photographic evidence.

    She actually confirms the photos are real…and they are still moving forward with argument they are fake? WTF are we missing here about this plan here that they are this brazen about moving forward. How deranged is Suneel in his quest to impress Raniere and their girlfriend, Clyne?

    These NXIVM acolytes are like peeling a rotten onion, the deeper you go the more rotten it becomes.

    • Hey, I like onions. Don’t give onions a bad name by associating it with these folks who are liars. Onions can’t lie. They can be used to lie, like hiding the layers of a cult. But an onion is innocent for what is being used for. It does not know that it is not being used to make a dish delicious, but for hiding something that is rotten in its core. That is not its fault.

    • Ah, but your forget KR, SC et al ability for endless red herrings, word salads, nit picking and circular arguments. The rebuttal they came up with when confronted with the evidence from Camila herself was (if memory serves): ‘she did not say it under oath’ … thereby subtly implying she could be lying. Using your words: Yes, they are this deranged.

    • This was reported in the FR coverage of Raniere’s sentencing.

      Yeah, the claim that these photos are fake is completely wacko. I can’t believe anyone ever took them seriously.

      In addition to Camila herself saying Raniere took the naked pictures of her when she was 15, text messages were introduced in court, Raniere’s own text messages, proving that he had sexual relations with her when she was a minor.

      There’s a brick wall of facts PROVING that these photos are genuine. Testimony interlocked with physical evidence.

      The idea that the FBI faked them is a fantasy cooked up by the desperate Raniere cult loyalists. The allegation is frivolous and should be dismissed out of hand.

      • But Nicki and Michele refused to go under oath to dispute anything about DOS or Keith.

        By their own logic, no one should believe them either.

        Michelle Hatchette told the government she was given the “seduction assignment” and she would have left DOS if not for her collateral. Michele stated that she did not want to engage in the sexual contact she had with Keith Alan Raniere.

        That’s documented.

        Now, Michele denies it.

        Michele has lied. Either way.

        Allison gave the seduction assignment to all her slaves. Looking at you, Dr. Daniele

        So gross.

    • The cognitive dissonance is strong with this crew. Camila must have lied… because the FBI threatened her if she didn’t uphold their story… with their fake altered pictures… because the whole world is against the Vanguard and his wisdom… because prophets are always persecuted in their own time…

      Some people wake up and smell the coffee on their own; some people are lucky enough to have loved ones that keep on chipping away at lunacy until they break through; and some people will go to the grave drenched in delusions that will never die.

    • Camila didn’t confirm those specific pictures herself. She only confirmed that naked pictures were taken of her. Which, while it may be true, doesn’t confirm that the pictures used in the evidence were the same that she was referring to.

      Aside from that, the data in some of the photos was tampered with, if that is true, then it could indicate that the testimony she gave is either not entirely reliable, or that while it was true, there was no evidence, and hence evidence was manufactured.

    • Victim impact statements aren’t under oath. If the prosecution wanted her to confirm it, then why didn’t they have her testify that at the trial?

      • Clearly, it was the right decision. Maybe they didn’t feel like they needed her? Maybe she was traumatized and they respected that? Why don’t you ask them? Probably because it’s just a rhetorical question you’re asking and you think you already know the answer.

        Keith’s never getting out of prison.

About the Author

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

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato 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. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083