By Richard Luthmann
Keith Raniere has asked the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to issue A Writ of Mandamus, in effect, an order to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to disqualify himself from judging Keith Raniere’s Rule 33 motion as a matter of law, and or public duty.
In my opinion, his chances of success are not high.
This is not to say Raniere’s lawyer, Joseph Tully, is not making an appropriate motion.
Raniere has 97 years to go on his sentence. His appeal was denied. He is funded in his legal efforts by Clare Bronfman, who can afford to finance every motion, no matter how remote the chances of success are.
Attorney Joseph M. Tully represents Keith Raniere in his latest petition for a Writ of Mandamus from the US Appeals Court for the Second Circuit.
But the deck is stacked against Raniere.
Disqualification of Judges
To disqualify District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, Raniere must show that a specific statute – 28 U.S.C. § 455 – is violated if Judge Garaufis stays on the case.
Raniere must show that the public perception of Judge Garaufis’ impartiality might be reasonably questioned. Raniere’s lawyers claim that Judge Garaufis “has a personal bias or prejudice” against Keith Raniere.
Keith Raniere claims Judge Garaufis “has a personal bias or prejudice” against the Vanguard.
The Second Circuit has allowed judges to stay on cases where reasonable observers might see the Judge’s impartiality unlikely.
In the filed Petition For Writ Of Mandamus, Raniere’s lawyers claim Judge Garaufis displayed “a lack of judicial temperament and expressed [his] personal distaste for Mr. Raniere and his counsel.”
For the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, that may not be enough.
Second Circuit Precedent Disfavors Raniere
Some believe a case might hit too close to home for a judge to stay on a case when a family member is involved.
The Second Circuit in Taylor v. Vermont Department of Education saw no problem with a judge sitting on a case brought against a school district, even though the school district employed the judge’s daughter.
In United States v. Arena, the Second Circuit saw no issue when a judge stayed on a case where a defendant was on trial for hiring someone to put butyric acid in the vent of an abortion clinic creating a smell that forced the clinic to close for a day when the judge’s wife was a financial supporter of the clinic.
The public might think it is difficult for a former prosecutor who zealously prosecuted the Latin Kings to serve as an impartial judge over a trial of members of that same gang.
The Second Circuit in United States v. Sanchez said the former prosecutor, turned judge could stay on the case.
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. was an American writer, muckraker, political activist, and the 1934 Democratic Party nominee for governor of California.
Novelist Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
The Second Circuit In United States v. Zuger, a panel of judges decided that the fact that the United States Government pays a judge’s salary creates no need for recusal.
What if a Judge is a witness in a case he presides over?
In United States v. Rivera, a judge was asked to recuse himself because he would be a material witness at the hearing of the claims before him. The judge agreed he was a material witness, but ruled he didn’t have to recuse himself automatically. The Second Circuit agreed.
Judges have wide latitude for fact findings and evidentiary rulings, most of which can be overturned only for abuse of discretion, a high hurdle.
Federal district judges draw an annual salary of $218,600, which isn’t much more than a first-year attorney at a top-tier law firm earns.
Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, home of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, New York.
The Court has said on numerous occasions that recusal is based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. No one knows those facts and circumstances better than the sitting judge.
The Second Circuit will probably tell Raniere that they believe Judge Garaufis is competent to decide if he is a “fair and impartial judge” before they weigh in to see whether he was right or wrong.
That’s not to say the odds are zero.
The 2nd Circuit might rule that there is a perception of bias on the record when Judge Garaufis explained his reasoning for cutting Lauren Salzman’s cross-examination short to Raniere’s trial lawyer, Marc Agnifilo:
The Court: Look, I am not saying you are not a man you are not a lawyer who maintains his composure. I am not talking about that. I am worried about her composure in this case. I have to sentence this defendant and what you did was ask her to make legal judgments about whether what she did in pleading guilty was farcical that she took somebody else’s advice, some lawyer, so she could get out from under a trial. I thought that went pretty far beyond the pale, frankly.
Mr. Agnifilo: Your Honor, I –
The Court: I took her guilty plea, sir. All right?
Judge Garaufis admitted that sentencing Lauren Salzman was an overriding concern for why it was “necessary” to stop the cross-examination.
Judge Garaufis seems to have weighed a future sentencing proceeding of a Government witness as more important than the trial of a criminal defendant over which he was presiding.
Judge Garaufis could have recused himself from the Salzman sentencing.
Salzman wasn’t being sentenced that hour or that month. Raniere was on trial that instant.
The judge appeared more concerned with protecting Salzman’s Cooperation Agreement than Raniere’s constitutional rights.
“I may not get everything right up here, but I will tell you, as a human being, it was the right decision. Alright? And before I’m a judge, I’m a human being,” Judge Garaufis said.
Will Judge Garaufis Be Disqualified?
In re Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc., the Second Circuit said a Judge was not required to recuse himself for bias against a defendant based on “sharpness” in a colloquy between the judge and counsel.
For the Appellate Court, such statements do not demonstrate bias but are “well within acceptable boundaries of courtroom exchange.”
The Second Circuit has said recusal is warranted in some cases. For example, in United States v. Amico.
The Second Circuit found the District Court judge abused his discretion in not recusing himself from a criminal trial, where the judge did not address his prior dealings with the Government’s star cooperating witness. The Second Circuit found that the judge’s relationship and failure to adequately disclose the same would have led a disinterested observer to conclude that partiality existed.
The Second Circuit also looks askance at District Judges who comment publicly on cases before them. In United States v. Diaz, the Second Circuit found that recusal was warranted when the Judge had communicated with the United States Attorney and a Senator about whether the Defendant was subject to enhanced sentencing while the Defendant’s appeal was pending.
The judge was disqualified from presiding over the defendant’s resentencing on remand since the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned based on his extra-judicial activity.
Likewise, in In re IBM Corp. The Second Circuit found that a District Court judge should have recused himself from the consideration of a motion in an antitrust case, since based on his newspaper interviews concerning the company subject of the litigation.
The Second Circuit found that a reasonable observer would question the judge’s impartiality.
In Keith Raniere’s case, it appears Judge Garaufis had no prior dealings with Government witnesses or spoke “out of school” on the Vanguard case.
Raniere’s recent request for a Mandamus is unlikely to be granted.
Richard Luthmann is a writer, commentator, satirist, and investigative journalist with degrees from Columbia University and the University of Miami. Once a fixture in New York City and State politics, Luthmann is a recovering attorney who lives in Southwest Florida and a proud member of the National Writers Union.
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Thanks a lot for this excellent article. Also, thanks for taking the time to answer the readers’ questions. I also have some questions, and I would be thrilled if you could answer them.
My first question is regarding the legal status of cults in the US. I found a legal website (linked below) that says there is no legal definition for cults, and it is impossible to prosecute cult members unless they associate themselves with other criminal activities.
Do you agree with these statements? I know that in the real world, cults do not openly call themselves cults and all their activities are hidden. But for the sake of academic discussion, if a group of people publicly declare themselves as a cult and if they genuinely do not engage in any other illegal or criminal activities, is it not possible for law enforcement agencies to prosecute them?
My other questions are regarding the implications of this Raniere case for the other members of NXIVM and DOS. In this case, the court ruled that Raniere’s group was associated with multiple illegal and criminal activities. Only a small number of people were imprisoned, but the group had a lot of members. I know that in the real world, it is impossible to know the exact level of involvement of every single member since law enforcement agencies have limited resources and people are not brutally honest with their activities. But for the sake of academic discussion again, I want to ask the following:
Can a NXIVM member who truly neither participated nor knew anything about the illegal activities (listed in the Raniere case court judgment) be prosecuted by law enforcement? Just for being a member of NXIVM? What is the sentencing range for this person?
Can a NXIVM or DOS member who openly admits knowing all the illegal activities (listed in the Raniere case court judgment) be prosecuted by law enforcement, even if they truly did not participate in any of these activities? This person knew everything but did not report anything to law enforcement in a timely manner. For the sake of academic discussion, they are unrealistically submitting themselves to law enforcement after the Raniere trial is over. What is the sentencing range for this person?
Thanks for your reply in advance.
American conspiracy law is an animal onto itself. There is extreme liability for seemingly innocuous activity.
If you are worried about your particular exposure, go see a lawyer.
Sentencing exposure if you are convicted of a criminal conspiracy related to a cult is based on many factors. A Federal Court Judge (like in NXIVM) would first look to the US Sentencing Guidelines in order to calculate the sentencing range, based on the severity of the offense and the criminal history of the defendant.
There are also enhancements and aggravating and mitigating factors that may apply in a particular case.
Ultimately, the US Supreme Court said in the case of US v. Booker that the sentencing decision is up to the discretion of the judge.
With respect to the argument that a cult can’t be defined, good luck. Under the bail statute from 1984, they can come and get you, hold you in a federal facility, and wear you down for years. Maybe then a judge might hear your argument. But it’s unlikely they will be receptive to an argument that a cult can’t be defined.
That’s American justice.
Thanks for the quick reply. I am just a regular reader of this website, and thank god I am not involved in NXIVM. I tried asking the question as generally as possible because I did not want to start a community discussion around specific names. When I asked the question, I had NXVIM and DOS members whose names are frequently headlined in the articles in my mind. I wanted to learn the maximum theoretical prison sentence they could face.
When you read the discussion below some articles, you will see that readers are intensely grilling some NXIVM and DOS members who were not part of the Raniere trial. I read on the internet that failure to report a crime only has a $1500 fine, and there is no such thing as a cult defined in law. So I started to wonder if people on the internet were being unfairly cruel to these former NXIVM/DOS members. I assumed that these people could, at most, be fined $1500 even if they knew all of the activities mentioned in the Raniere court judgment as long as they did not participate in those activities.
I thought that if law enforcement had proof that these people participated in criminal activities, they would make them part of the Raniere trial and imprison them. That did not happen. So that left two options in my mind: these people either did not know about these crimes, or they knew but did not participate.
Most readers assume that members of DOS must have witnessed or heard about illegal activities stated in the Raniere case court judgment (branding, collateral for blackmail, etc.). I am making an assumption here, but at a minimum, they must have known about collateral (for blackmail purposes) since they all provided that before joining and were told that it was going to be used for blackmail if they ever left DOS in the future. Blackmail is illegal. Why are all former DOS members not on trial just for knowing about the criminal blackmail intents of the organization?
Based on your reply, I got the impression that the sky is the limit for sentencing people who knew about Raniere’s activities even if they did not participate in those activities at all. Why don’t we see that in practice? Why are other NXVIM/DOS members not facing any charges for knowing these illegal activities?
Is there really no specific range for people who knew but did not participate if they willingly come forward and admit that they knew but did not report? Raniere himself got 120 years. Allison Mack got 3 years plus probation. Can other members get more than 120 years sentence at a judge’s discretion just because they knew but did not report to law enforcement? Based on your knowledge of this trial, is there no minimum-maximum range you can give us?
Are people on the internet intensely grilling and, in their minds handing out life sentences to people who can, in practice at most, get maybe 2-year, 3-year or 5-year sentences? Are social media trials harsher than legal trials? That’s what I am trying to figure out.
Thanks for your reply in advance.
A lot of times when the Feds go question someone, the Feds have nothing. They are trying to build a case. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that get into legal trouble because they tell on themselves. All cops are looking for the easy case. Most people are afraid or don’t understand the process and then put themselves in a pickle.
The Feds are famous for bringing cases and having nothing. All they need is an indictment. Once you’re indicted, it almost always equals a conviction – 99% of the time. Unless you have lots of money, it’s over.
The Feds also harass you if they want you or know you have something they want. They will get your bank accounts closed, get you fired from your job, and kill your business prospects. They will ruin your life. But to Ivy League Federal Prosecutors in their high castles, you are a peon anyway.
As for sentencing, it is very unlikely that anyone else in NXIVM gets a sentence anywhere near the Vanguard. In federal cases, the kill they “baddest” actor and then everyone else usually falls in with lesser sentences. In the NXIVM case, it will be far less.
As for a conspiracy, all the Feds have to prove is knowledge and an act in furtherence. They don’t even have to prove you knew the details of what was going on to make a case against you.
Perfect example: you work at the mall. Someone tells you to leave the door propped open on your way out at night. You figured they were going to rob the place, but never said so and handed you $500 so you didn’t care.
The next day you hear on the news that not only did the mall get robbed, but 2 security guards were shot at in the process.
You can be charged with a mandatory minimum ten year federal prison sentence for the gun conspiracy under 18 USC 924(c) for the discharged firearm in the commission of a Hobbs Act robbery.
You left the door open. You acted in furtherence. You knew that the others – your co-conspirators – were up to no good.
You may not even know who your co-conspirators are. And many times, this is the case. You “meet” your conspirators when they round you up and unseal your indictment.
The point of all this is that the US Attorney has great discretion as to who to name a criminal and who to name as a victim. There is no bright line or rhyme or reason.
Is it fair? Probably not. But the goal of the US criminal justice system isn’t fairness. It’s career advancement for prosecutors and special agents, and lifetime government jobs for support personnel up and down the line. The defendants aren’t really considered much, and the victims aren’t considered at all unless they can help a prosecutor advance his or her career.
Thanks again for the detailed reply. It is an eye-opener. Most people, including me, are unfamiliar with legal thinking and the real-world application of the law. Our legal knowledge is limited to what we see on TV, word of mouth and google research. It seems like it is a myth that honesty always gets you out of legal trouble. Believing that it is never too late to report or back out of a crime, to end legal trouble, seems to perpetuate that myth.
US attorneys having great discretion regarding who to name a criminal and who to name as a victim, combined with other things you mentioned, especially the broad legal definition of conspiracy, brought another question to my mind.
Did the whistleblowers in the NXIVM case take a substantial personal legal risk? Did they face the risk of not getting legal immunity or a significantly reduced sentence? Did they face the risk of getting named as co-conspirator criminals right away?
What actually happened at the begging of the NXIVM case is the exact opposite of what I have been asking about. Law enforcement agencies refused to take action. Northern District of New York initially did not see the acts as criminal and argued they were consensual. Following a similar argument, Medical Board initially did not revoke the licenses of physicians involved in NXVIM/DOS branding sessions. We know they changed their positions later, but that brings another question.
In complicated cases, such as NXVIM, if law enforcement refuses to declare activities as criminal, can there be legal consequences for the whistleblowers? For example, can the group that was reported to the government counter-sue the failed whistleblowers? Can there be a defamation lawsuit? Or worse, can there be any criminal trial consequences for the failed whistleblowers? Maybe because failed whistleblowers can now be framed as harassers of a seemingly innocent group, etc.
Ordinary crimes, such as murder, theft, etc., are probably easy for law enforcement agencies to evaluate. Still, complicated “first of its kind” cases like NXVIM are probably challenging to evaluate.
Thanks for your reply in advance.
Surely co-defendants in a crime are not allowed any correspondence with each other. If Bronfman and Raniere are in touch with each other it’s against the law. Surely the facility will stop this, and punish both of them accordingly . This includes Bronfman paying for Ranieres Mickey Mouse legal team
That’s not necessarily true. Usually, the US Attorney requests a separation order pretrial. The last thing the Government wants is co-defendants getting together and figuring out how to poke holes in the prosecutorial narrative.
Usually, defendants can only meet during joint defense meetings with counsel present once the separation order is signed.
This is yet another way that the Government stacks the deck against defendants. The Joint Defense meetings happen maybe once or twice a month. In the intervening time, co-defendants cannot see each other because they are physically separated into different units in the same detention facility. If they were to spend even a fraction of their time together working on their case, there would be a chance that they could beat the Government. And the system can’t have that because indictments wouldn’t equal convictions.
To your question, once defendants are convicted, they get sent to a prison facility instead of a detention center. The prisons usually like to eliminate the separation agreements because they are just a pain to administer. Plus, the only reason co-defendants are separated for the Government’s advantage during pretrial.
Here, Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman would never run into each other because men and women are housed at separate prison facilities. But that isn’t to say they cannot contact each other through intermediaries.
They can always send postal mail or email, though all email Communications are monitored, and mail that leaves a medium or high-security facility is searched before it goes out. So Claire and Keith could very well be communicating through third parties. And this would technically break no prison rules.
To avoid detection, I would not be surprised if they send communications through legal mail. Any mail from a lawyer to an inmate gets opened directly in their presence and then handed to them. The counselors only scan the documents to see that they look like they are legal and not contraband like pornography. They also check that there’s no other contraband in the envelope, like K2, for instance.
Once that’s done, they hand the envelope over to the inmate. Lots of things can get into prison through this method. For example, there is a BOP rule that prisoners can’t have a copy of their Presentencing Report (PSR) on their person.
The BOP is worried that certain people (rats and chomos) will get extorted if they are forced to produce their paperwork. And the BOP would be right. Another reason might be that the PSR is an essential legal document for challenging conviction and sentencing defects. This DOJ rule prohibiting PSRs came from the Attorney General (Ashcroft, I believe) and is yet another way the BOP makes inmate legal appeals more complicated and is how the DOJ further stacks the deck in its favor.
But invariably, everybody has a copy of their paperwork in prison. If you don’t, you get told to “check-in” to protective custody.
And to your point about paying legal fees, it is still America. Usually, people can spend their money on whatever they want as long as it is legitimate. This includes paying legal defense bills.
I’m sure the Government may have made a motion somewhere to preclude the payment of attorneys fees from specific sources. But this touches upon a third rail in the justice system. Attorneys must be paid. How can you have a right to counsel if the Government can decide how and who can pay your lawyers? There is even safe harbor language that protects defense attorneys’ fees when representing drug dealers and the like.
that the writ doesn’t have legs; exactly like any other civil or criminal case, instrument, plea injunction, etc involving this nincompoop he can EXPECT nothing to come of it – just like the rest.
Some people never learn.
I noticed that you said KAR has 97 years left , wasn’t he sentenced to 120 years 2 years ago , since he’s been in the SHU for months and months there couldn’t have been 23 years knocked off for good behavior , so what accounts for the 21 year discrepancy ?
They actually give you your “good time” on the way in, so there is something they can take away from you if you are uppity. I think the official penological term is “deterrence.” Compliant prisoners make for an orderly institution.
Keith’s release date as calculated by the BOP is 6/27/2120.
You can search for him and anyone else in the Feds on the BOP Inmate Locator.
“Judge Garaufis admitted that sentencing Lauren Salzman was an overriding concern for why it was “necessary” to stop the cross-examination.”
I think he’s saying “you’re trying to get her to admit greater guilt – to say something that will hinder my ability to sentence her in accordance to any deals or recommendations made by and with the prosecutors recommendation at a later date.
In other words, “she pleaded guilty and is helping us on a quid pro quo. Stop trying to f**k with the back room deals that have been made to acquire her testimony. It has nothing to do with his like or dislike of Raniere.
A new pic of the incomparable Lauren Salzman pic.
Bangkok must be so elated in his pjs.
She looks so smug cuddling up to the guru. All these women vying for his attention and getting two minutes of it satisfies them for a week
I hate it when a lawyer is right.
I haven’t been a lawyer for some time. I’m a journalist now. Don’t be too upset.
I laugh when a [Holiday elimination]
I liked you better when you drew caricatures and put on puppet on Daytona Beach. I recall you loved putting on Punch&Judy shows. Your take: The masochistic Punch Judy theme was so,
Clock Work Orange.
Stanley Kubrick be dammed!
Nice Guy once said to me, “the principle of laughter and the carnival spirit on which the grotesque of the puppet show is based destroys this limited seriousness and all pretense of an extratemporal meaning and unconditional value of necessity. It frees human consciousness, thought, and imagination for new potentialities.”
That’s when I realized he truly understood what I was doing.
Best teacher I ever had. You remind me of him a lot!
You are a witty one, my fine fellow. Truly you are. Such a card. It requires a thesaurus to fully appreciate your esoteric drollery.
Oh my dear genteel Dennis Miller with a Sicilian flair – I love you so. I write all of this with the utmost gravitas.
You should granted your very own ‘Dawit.’
Nice Guy, I’ve always admired your pickup lines. Like when you told that woman in Dallas, “Of all sexual aberrations, selling Amway distributorships is the strangest.”
You should be granted your very own ‘Dawit.’
Uhm, “aberrations” and “Amway.”
I only made reference to Amway’s up-line, and down-line.
A little double-entendre.
You like Tool-scam toys?
Scott knows all about the tools and used them all the time on unsuspecting females and trannies.
Richard, will Keith die in prison yes or no? Easy question.
The answer right now is more likely than not. He has an uphill battle with his evidence tampering argument. Even assuming Moira and friends stacked the deck with “pile-on” kiddie porn evidence, there is still a whole bunch of problematic stuff if Keith Raniere were to get a new trial.
Of course, a judge could dismiss the charges outright to make a statement the prosecutorial and FBI misconduct won’t be tolerated. But no one in the EDNY has oranges bigger than raisins. Weinstein was the last maverick that court will probably ever see.
The other way Keith doesn’t die in prison is if he gets a terrible, long term disease after he hits 70 years old and the government doesn’t want to pay his healthcare costs. He’s not exactly John Gotti. He didn’t chum the water at the Mill Basin drawbridge with deadbeats on a regular basis. There’s no body count (though he was probably capable of it).
He’s got a shot at compassionate release eventually, particularly the cloudier the Government’s misconduct looks in retrospect if coupled with a bonafide health condition.
Regarding an early release for Keith Raniere
All his victims have to do is work with the BOP on why they fear an early release is dangerous for them & Raniere will never get out of prison.
With his sex offender status, his inability to follow the law when setting up pyramid scheme companies under other people’s names and the backing of Clare Bronfram and the wealthy from Mexico, nothing is stopping Raniere from rebuilding his sick sexual empire again.
I don’t believe the BOP will be in a hurry to let Raniere back on the streets because he is old. He is still a manipulative monster.
The motivations of witnesses are always fair game. Raniere has a Constitutional right to confront the Government’s witnesses and have the jury hear it. It is squarely relevant if the witness is getting a benefiting exchange for testimony. And it’s even more relevant when a Government Witness goes “off-script” and starts to tell the truth. Juries can often see through a Government charade if given the opportunity.
The jury, not Judge Garaufis, is the ultimate finder of fact at a trial. There has to be a really good reason to disregard the Constitutional order. Judge Garaufis sounded like a doofus when he said he ignored Vanguard’s rights because the judge was a “human being.”
But maybe you are right. This has nothing to do with Keith Raniere. The scrutiny should be on Judge Garaufis’ constitutionally deficient performance.
KR should get a new trial, and Garaufis should go. But that probably won’t happen. The EDNY is where the Constitution goes to die.
You support morality being of little or no consequence compared to the law. That is so dead wrong and disappointing.
This reminds me of a case where a very large scale drug trafficker was released from prison due to having been determined authorities used illegal investigation means. That animal has destroyed so many lives but it’s completely unimportant, isn’t it? Who gives a rat’s ass? I agree. There’s massive pleasure in watching people die knowing you have done it.
At least that dog, had his head and neck fractured at multiple sites anatomically speaking, shortly before his unexpected release. I doubt he now functions better than the humans he destroyed.
Morality and the law have been divorced for a very, very long time.
“For my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law.”.
It was that way in old Peru. It is that way in new America.
Morality has never been divorced from the law because the law is a reflection of the overarching moral code of society. An individual can have a more rigorous standard of ethics than society, but he cannot have a looser one, otherwise he can get fined and/or tossed in prison. That’s the purpose of the law — to govern social behavior and enforce order at a collective level, which is what an individual does for his own behavior when he adheres to a moral code (the law for himself).
In theory, where the rule of law actually exists. But those ideas are for textbooks and college political philosophy courses.
Back in reality, how you govern yourself has no relationship to criminality. PRISON INC. needs fresh bodies like a coke addict needs a line. Certain targeted populations are culled to feed the beast.
And let’s not forget political prosecutions, which are out of control. Show me someone that says today’s FBI/DOJ targeting of Republicans, white nationalists, and soccer mom’s doesn’t smack of Putin jailing Navalny, and I’ll show you a good liar.
American law is bent. Where once it walked a parallel path with morality, it does no more. The law has become immoral because it has become purely political. And in politics, unlike morality, there is no truth or virtue, only the result.
So I say again: For my friends, anything. For my enemies, the law.
You’re probably right. My point was that KR would have to thread the needle perfectly to ever see daylight. There is peril on all sides, with victim impact being a huge factor.
If Raniere does get a new trial because the Feds planted evidence, he may be able to whittle away victims at a retrial, and that could work to his advantage in a multitude of ways, including a future application for compassionate release.
Excellent factual information.