US District Court Judge Raner Collins denied Keith Raniere’s motions for a Preliminary Injunction (PI) and a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The case is Keith Raniere, Plaintiff, v. Merrick Garland, et al., Defendants.
Per the motions, Raniere wanted the judge to order USP Tucson to allow him to speak with Suneel Chakravorty. The judge did not intervene. A judge issues a TRO if one party may suffer “irreparable harm” if an adverse party is not stopped from doing something. Judge Collins saw no merit here for a TRO.
Raniere “failed to establish that he will suffer irreparable harm,” the judge wrote.
That does not mean the BOP lawsuit is over. It must go the usual way, with evidence and hearings for both sides. It could also settle. The lawsuit’s goal is for Raniere to speak with Chakravorty as they execute legal strategies to attack his conviction.
The BOP pointed a way for that to happen: i.e., Have Raniere’s lawyer, Joseph Tully, confirm Chakravorty as his paralegal.
Tully must provide the warden with a signed statement certifying:
- Chakravorty has the ability to serve as a paralegal.
- He will supervise Chakravorty
- He will accept personal and professional responsibility for Chakravorty’s activities.
- He vouches that Chakravorty’s conduct won’t affect the prison, prisoners, or staff.
In Brooklyn federal court, in United States v. Keith Raniere et al., Raniere’s attorney, Joseph Tully, filed a surprising letter. Tully wants a 60-day extension of the deadline for filing Rule 33 motions. The deadline is midnight on Tuesday, June 21st.
Tully got his motion in on time. The extension is not for him. But for Raniere.
Raniere plans to file his own brand-new Rule 33 motion. It will supplement what Tully has already filed.
Tully wrote to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis:
“I respectfully request a 60-day extension to the Rule 33 filing deadline of June 21, 2022… on behalf of my client, Mr. Keith Raniere. Mr. Raniere has advised me that there are legal issues he would like to pursue in a supplemental pro se brief pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Evidence as now that the extensive tampering has been shown, there are additional anomalies and violations that need to be examined in a different light.
He respectfully requests the Court grant him this additional time as his incarceration severely limits his access to legal resources and hence his ability to research and draft as well as interview potential witnesses.
An extension of 60 days would be sufficient for Mr. Raniere to properly research and draft his remaining issues of concern. I inquired with the government via email, and Ms. Hajjar noted that the government would object to this request. In the interest of justice, I would kindly ask this Court to extend the deadline for filing until August 19, 2020.
Because the case is post-trial with all Rule 33 motions in abeyance pending a decision on the appeal from the Second Circuit, there will be no prejudice to the government.”
Unsurprisingly, AUSA Tanya Hajjar objected to the requested extension. After all, part of this tampering motion impugns her. Hajjar was one of the prosecutors in the Raniere case. Tully named her in his Rule 33 supplemental brief.
He accused her of “eliciting false testimony” from FBI agent Christopher Mills. So now Raniere will file a Rule 33 motion pro se?
Judge Garaufis Can’t Grant Extension
Tully filed his request for a 60-day extension late Friday – and by Saturday, Judge Garaufis had denied the request.
Here is his ORDER: “Defendant Keith Raniere’s  motion for an extension is DENIED. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33(b)(1) provides that “[a]ny motion for a new trial grounded on newly discovered evidence must be filed within 3 years after the verdict or finding of guilty.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(b)(1). That language is mandatory and leaves the court with no discretion to permit a motion beyond the 3-year deadline. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 6/18/2022.”
What newly-discovered evidence Raniere and Chakravorty have uncovered is anyone’s guess. But it will have to be filed by midnight on Tuesday, June 21st.
We will know by then.