2nd Circuit Denies Raniere’s Petition to Order Judge Garaufis Off Rule 33

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis will call the shots.

The 2nd Circuit took less than 24 hours after hearing oral arguments to deny Keith Raniere’s petition for a writ of mandamus.

Raniere sought the appellate court to disqualify Judge Garaufis from Raniere’s case in the future or in the alternative to decide on his disqualification before ruling on Ranierer’s pending motion before him.

Raniere currently has a Rule 33 motion seeking a new trial based on “newly discovered” evidence before Judge Garaufis.

He previously motioned Judge Garuafis to disqualify himself based on his argument that the judge had shown bias toward him.

Raniere alleges in his Rule 33 motion that retained forensic experts discovered evidence that the FBI tampered with metadata on photographs found on his hard drive to frame him for predicate acts of possession of child pornography and exploitation of a minor.

The subject of the photographs is a 32-year-old Mexican woman, identified as Camila, who was 15 years old at the time the FBI alleged the metadata dated the pictures – in November 2005.

Judge Garaufis has several options. He can choose to disqualify or not disqualify himself first.

Or he can decide on the Rule 33 motion first.

If he chooses not to disqualify himself or chooses to decide on the Rule 33 motion first, he has two more choices.’

He can hold an evidentiary hearing on the Rule 33 motion or rule based on the filed documents.

Judge Garuafis can dismiss the Rule 33 without further discussion if he decides there are no sufficient grounds for a hearing or the motion fails because the evidence is not or should not be deemed “newly discovered.”

To date, only Raniere has filed papers with Judge Garaufis in support of the FBI tampering evidence.

If Judge Garaufis decides to consider the Rule 33 motion, the US Department of Justice will have an opportunity to make a written reply to Raniere’s filing.

In a worst-case scenario for Raniere, Judge Garaufis could dismiss the Rule 33 first, without a hearing, then disqualify himself from future motions.

If Judge Garaufis denies the Rule 33 motion, Raniere would still have a right to appeal the decision.

If Judge Garaufis chooses to disqualify himself before deciding on the Rule 33 motion, the administrative judge for the district court would assign another judge to decide the motion.

If Judge Garaufis or another assigned judge chooses to hold an evidentiary hearing, witnesses could be called to testify about evidence of FBI tampering.

Among the witnesses likely to be called are Raniere’s retained forensic experts, including Dr. J Richard Kiper a former trainer of trainers of forensic examinations at the FBI. He has filed a detailed report with the court on his findings, claiming there is proof to a “scientific certainty” that digital evidence used in the case was altered while in FBI custody.

At yesterday’s oral argument in the 2nd Circuit, Raniere’s attorney Joseph M. Tully argued that Judge Garaufis, who presided over Raniere’s six-week jury trial in 2019, was biased against Raniere.

Tully alleged three instances of Judge Garaufis’ bias.

Attorney Joseph M. Tully represent Keith Raniere in his latest petition for a Writ of Mandamus from the US Appeals Court for the Second Circuit.

Raniere attorney Joseph Tully of California.

The first, during the trial, when Judge Garaufis halted the cross-examination of prosecution witness Lauren Salzman.

The second was at Raniere’s restitution hearing when Judge Garaufis had an contentious exchange with Raniere’s former attorney Marc Fernich which led to an unusual 30 minute staring contest while court spectators sat in stunned silence.

The third instance Tully alleged was the triple sentencing guidelines sentence Judge Garuafis handed to Raniere’s co-defendant Clare Bronfman.

Bronfman’s sentencing guidelines were 21-27 months. Judge Garaufis sentenced her to 81 months and cited Bronfman’s “willful blindness” to Raniere’s crimes and her use of litigation to punish Raniere’s enemies.

On September 30, 2020, Clare Bronfman walked into court with her attorneys Ronald Sullivan [l] and Duncan Levin [r] for her sentencing. She did not walk out of court. Judge Nicholas Garaufis remanded her into custody following the hearing where he sentenced her to 81 months. 

Bronfman, in what might be called a stupendous blunder, wrote a letter to the judge before sentencing saying she would not disavow Raniere.

On Tuesday, a three judge panel, Justices Pierre N. Leval, Jose A. Cabranes and William J. Nardini, heard Tully’s and DOJ Assistant US Attorney Tanya Hajjar’s arguments on the petition to order remove Judge Garaufis from hearing Raniere’s motions.

Tully said the judge’s removal “is not only common sense. This is not only logical and it ensures fairness and it protects the integrity of our entire judicial system.”

Raniere’s Rule 33 motion, filed last May, stayed pending his appeal. 

Now that the 2nd Circuit denied Raniere’s appeal, his Rule 33 motion is ripe to be heard.  

Yesterday, the three-judge panel told Tully and Hajjar they would consider Raniere’s petition. Today they denied it.

“Upon due consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the petition is DENIED because Petitioner has not demonstrated that he lacks an adequate, alternative means of obtaining relief, that his right to the writ is clear and indisputable, and that granting the writ is appropriate under the circumstances. See Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for D.C., 542 U.S. 367, 380–81 (2004).”

Yesterday, at the oral argument before the 2nd Circuit panel, there appears to have been a dispute over the meaning of a case Tully cited to support Judge Garaufis’ removal.

Rob Gavin for the Albany Times Union reported in a story entitled Judge tells Raniere attorney to ‘check your notes’.

One of the judges said such requests [to remove the judge] are typically made only when it was already clear that a judge had exceeded their bounds.

“Tully cited a Second Circuit ruling to buoy his case, only to be quickly told by the panel that he was leaving out some key words.

“’Could you give us the full quotation for that please without omitting any words?’ Nardini asked Tully.

‘The judge said Tully read only part of an opinion. He said the lawyer made it appear the opinion supported the granting such writ requests when, in actually, it supported denying them.

“’I don’t think we ever said to grant — and you’re looking for us to grant,’ the judge told Tully.  ‘I’m looking at the quote and you gave us part of the quote without indicating that you were only giving us part of the quote —  the part of the quote that goes against your position.’

“Tully said he disagreed, prompting the judge to ask him if he was reading from a concurring opinion.

“’I’m reading from my notes right now,’ Tully replied.

“’Perhaps you should go back and check your notes later to make sure you didn’t omit a key phrase,’ the judge replied.

“’I will. Thank you,’ Tully said.


Keith Raniere filed a petition for a writ of mandamus. Mandamus is Latin and means “We Command.” A writ is an order issued from a court.

A writ of mandamus is an order from higher to lower court. A mandamus is an order to perform a particular act.

A writ of mandamus is extraordinary because it is made before a case concludes. It may be issued by a court at any time, but is usually issued in a case that has already begun.

Generally, the decisions of a lower-court will not be reviewed by higher courts until there is a final judgment.

On the federal level, the appellate review of lower-court decisions are postponed until after a final judgment has been made in the lower court.  A writ of mandamus is the one exception.

If a party to a case is dissatisfied with some decision of the trial court, the party may appeal the decision to a higher court with a petition for a writ of mandamus before the case proceeds further.

The writ of mandamus is only issued in exceptional circumstances because it is disruptive of the judicial process, creating disorder and delay in a case.

The writ is appropriate, opined the Court, if the trial court wrongly decided an issue, if failure to reverse that decision would irreparably injure a party, and if there was no other method for relief.

Traditionally writs of mandamus are rare.

Keith Raniere did not get one.






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Frank Parlato


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  • and feigning disbelief

    Let me get this straight, Raniere and his crack legal team decided that GASLIGHTING the judiciary was the best strategy for their oral arguments? I suppose if it worked on all the NXIVM followers, it was sure to work on the justices too? At least they are consistently consistent?

    Bravo Keith, Clare and Tully you all have truly outdone yourselves with this one. Well done everyone!

  • If I was a betting gal , I’d bet the house after this rule 33 is decided Tucson will pack up Kieth and his
    frivolous lawsuits and ship him off to Florence let him become Colorado’s problem.

  • I hate to burst your bubble, but Keith’s Rule 33 motion still has legs.

    Judge G. will deny it of course, but the appellate court will ultimately decide it.

    Many naive people believe that the suggestion of ‘FBI collusion’ is far-fetched.

    Let’s examine the DETAILS here…

    The original FBI computer expert who analyzed Raniere’s computer has already testified, in a previous trial, that EXIF data is mostly unreliable and that altering EXIF data is easy.

    He swore that under oath. That’s part of the record.

    However, the EDNY did not like that previous testimony —- because they needed to make the jury believe that EXIF data (proving that Cami was 15) is totally reliable and could not have been altered easily.

    Therefore, just weeks before Raniere’s trial, this same FBI computer expert (who said that EXIF data is unreliable) was suddenly removed from the case and sent to Africa, making him unavailable to testify at Raniere’s trial which was just weeks away.

    Then, lo and behold…

    The FBI assigned a new agent (Brian Booth) to analyze Raniere’s computer —- and, lo and behold, Mr. Booth then CONTRADICTED the previous FBI agent by saying that EXIF data is extremely reliable and that it was DIFFICULT for anybody to alter EXIF data.

    In other words, Mr. Booth backed up the EDNY’s desired narrative by contradicting the previous FBI agent’s testimony.

    When you look at this alteration of FBI testimony to fit the FALSE narrative of the EDNY (since we now know that even a 12 year old can download free software to alter EXIF data in seconds) —- it shows that the FBI was colluding with EDNY prosecutors to produce a desired narrative.

    That’s not my main point.

    My main point is this…

    When you look at the PROVEN collusion demonstrated above, this makes it much more plausible that Kiper’s other allegations (regarding file tampering) also took place.

    Kiper’s report still has not been refuted by anybody.

    A couple months ago, Joseph O’hara attempted to refute it by posting that Kiper received a copy of the hard disk that wasn’t authentic (wasn’t given to him by any trusted court sources) and thus Joe was implying that somebody from Raniere’s team may have altered the hard disk to support his own case.


    But, that suggestion is beyond laughable BECAUSE the first thing the prosecution will do is verify that Kiper’s copy of the hard disk is identical to the prosecution’s copy of that same hard disk. If it’s not, the Rule 33 motion would be permanently rejected (as the deadline for filing a new one has elapsed).

    In other words, Joe was tacitly admitting that the EDNY will have a hard time refuting the detailed allegations made in Kiper’s report —- and therefore he has resorted to questioning the SOURCE of the data, rather than the REPORT ITSELF.

    IMO, I think this Rule 33 motion has a decent chance to succeed.

    And if it does succeed, there will never be a 2nd trial on any charges —- because MOST of the key witnesses will not be available or willing to testify again.

    Lauren, Allison, and Nancy will not assist the EDNY in any future trials since they’ve already been sentenced and cannot have more prison time added if they refuse to assist the government again.

    Other witnesses have already moved-on with their lives and won’t wanna be put under the spotlight of a sex-cult trial for a 2nd time. Many of them are living in other countries and can’t be forced to testify anyway.

    Witnesses like Mark V. would be easily impeached in a 2nd trial, after putting his name on a multi-million dollar lawsuit and tainting his own credibility as a money-grubber.

    Plus, the EDNY will not wanna risk having egg on their face for possibly losing a 2nd trial —- especially if the FBI was shown to have altered evidence & testimony in a biased manner (if the Rule 33 motion succeeds).

    Raniere’s team would destroy any FBI witnesses and humiliate them in a 2nd trial.

    A 2nd trial will never happen.

    If the Rule 33 motion succeeds, the EDNY will likely offer Keith a plea deal for time served for all convictions which were reversed due to the Rule 33 motion.

    There’s just no other REALISTIC possibility.

    I challenge anybody to refute what I’ve just said.

    Have a good day. 🙂

    PS — Yes, I’ve argued differently in the past. But, I now believe differently after seeing how despicable the FBI has behaved.

  • Tully got caught with his pants down and got bench shaped by the 2nd circuit Judges.

    Tully must of thought he was presentingn to Eduardo on YouTube instead of three seasoned educated Judges.

    They read the motion Tully filed
    They checked case law before he opened his mouth
    What an idiot to continue to pull the wool over their eyes.
    They are not Raniere blind sheep.

    It’s not rocket science followers or supporters. The Judges followed the letter of the law.

    Justice was served

  • It seems no one cares about Raniere losing another battle in the court system.

    Where is our justice?
    Set our Vanguard free
    We cannot live without him
    We cannot talk with him on the phone or visit him in prison

    Now we have been cut off from our Clare to

    How are we to survive without our leadership?

    The system is rigged against us

    Will all other motions be denied

    Nicki will have to take over and lead us now

  • Steady as she goes…we’re nearly there.

    So, what are the odds of Garaufis recusing himself? About the same as the Orange Ape winning in ’24? And maybe a little higher than the ordering of an evidentiary hearing.

    Don’t worry, Toni, you’ll have plenty of company for the next while yet.

  • The lawless judicial system at its finest. The Fernandez sister’s really got Raniere where they want him. The ladies learned from the man himself. Bravo to the Nxivm 9 and Frank Report for setting the scene before Keith’s trial. I see he’s hated so much that the law is blind. Justice and freedom have been severed from Ranieres life. Thank you for the update.

  • Check your notes, Tully!

    He thought he could pull a fast one. Judge Nardini was having none of it. Misquoting case law, for chrissake.

    This is the problem with firebrand lawyers like Tully. They’re so convinced of their righteousness they stumble over their own feet. It’s one thing to play fast and loose with facts and law when they’re posting online or writing a self-published book but that sort of thing doesn’t fly in the meticulous and fact-based world of the court of law.

  • He got ripped off. They didn’t even do the desent thing and think about it. Judges sick. Not justice. All laws. Cover for each other. Corrupt.

  • When I read ‘disruptive’ and ’causes disorder’, it made total sense for Raniere to do this. Probably taken from Scientology like to investigate noisily and disruptively. He’s so used to throwing up smoke screens that’s all he knows how to do.

  • How surprising that a US judicial system which historically gained so much by exploiting the superstition of “witchcraft” to the masses would ever pass up the opportunity to gain even more by using the superstition of “brainwashing”.

    Judgy G, and his belief in witchcraft, rules.

    Wait till this type of governmental exploitation of superstitious bullshit comes for you.

    Gotta keep saying it because none of you retards can see it yet.

    But you will.


    • Your history is off kilter. At the time of the Salem witchcraft trials there was no “US justice system” for the simple reason that there was no United States.

      The Salem judges were British citizens practicing British law on British territory.

      Christ on a bike you’re ignorant.

      • Brilliant! Alonza. No wonder you hero worship Tully, you have so much in common and need to read your notes on the Salem witch trials

      • Aristotle’s [redacted] wrote:

        The Salem judges were British citizens practicing British law on British territory.

        For the most part, your quibble here is correct. I apologize for using the term “US Judicial System”.

        In Owen Davies’s examination of witchcraft after Salem, “America Bewitched” he lays out the persistent belief and persecution of “witches” and the use of the charge of “witchcraft” to whip up Americans to torture and kill people throughout US history who believe differently than your beloved white-bread, mainstream, middle class America.

        From a review of this book:

        “After 1692, witchcraft trials lost the endorsement of the state. Once officials refused to sanction accusations in Salem and elsewhere, witch trials ceased.

        “But the story of witchcraft in America is more complicated. Social historians have properly located witchcraft beliefs not only in theology but also as part of a broader, popular world of magic and the occult. Many ordinary people thought they were victims, not of the Devil’s disciples, but of harmful magic practiced by malicious neighbors. Belief in witchcraft and the occult, whether inspired by religious or magical notions, outlived 1692.’

        “This alternative understanding of witchcraft forms the basis of Owen Davies’s examination of witchcraft after Salem, America Bewitched. Davies contends that after 1692, “witches remained a real and terrible threat” in America, particularly to African Americans and Native Americans, immigrants, and those living in more remote areas. Davies claims that witches “were integral to the cultural fabric of America” and that in the more than three hundred years since 1692, “thousands of Americans, Native, European, and African, were persecuted, abused, and murdered as witches”

        So since 1692, you are correct, witchcraft has not been an indictable crime in North America. But the superstition of witchcraft itself has been used by the US Military in its wars against Native Americans and in many other campaigns to exert power over those who believe, or can be accused of believing, differently than you do.

        Like the superstition of brainwashing, the superstition of witchcraft has been incredibly useful in exerting power over minorities – with penalties that are equivalent to criminal penalties – the loss of liberty, property and the loss of life, as well.

        In the last few decades, charges of “witchcraft” can’t really whip up a crowd (or a jury) like in times past. But “brainwashing”?

        That fucker’s a winner.

        I don’t know why you want to remain blind to this, AT.

        But man, you really really do.


    • What’s with all the flak Alonzo?

      Do you actually think witchcraft and brainwashing are just superstitions?

      “Judgy G“ is a disrespectful insult. Did any judge hearing the cases ever mention witchcraft or brainwashing?

      “Wait till this type of governmental exploitation of superstitious bullshit comes for you. Gotta keep saying it because none of you retards can see it yet. But you will.” looks like a creepy threat or projection, Alonzo.

      Were you ever unjustly harmed in the justice system?

      • He’s trying to make up the decades of wasted years in the Scientology cult by projecting. The man is bitter and can’t move forward in a healthy manner

      • “Do you actually think witchcraft and brainwashing are just superstitions?

        Yes, after I finally looked up the science on “brainwashing”, having believed in it for almost a decade, it’s clear brainwashing is a widespread superstition in mainstream western society.

        And it is a very useful superstition, too – for lots of different people and interests – which is not likely to go away any time soon.

        Scientific Studies That Debunk the Brainwashing Myth

        And yes, Judgy G overruled the objection which the defense raised in Raniere’s criminal trial when the prosecution explained to him that all their witnesses had to be “deprogrammed” to be “understandable to a jury”.

        Deprogramming Witnesses a Huge Part of United States v Raniere Criminal Trial

        That means Judgy G believes in the superstition of “brainwashing”, and this had a huge effect on the case, the jury, and the verdict in United States v Raniere.

        Judgy G’s unwillingness to question his own superstitions as a federal judge deserves no respect.

        It deserves ridicule.


    • The US judicial system hadn’t even been established during the Salem witch trials. Ass clown 🤡 🤣🤣🤣

    • Hi ALozzer!

      Glad you’re back and cheerful as ever! I bet you’re stuffing Ho Ho’s in your blowhole as you read this…

      “Gotta keep saying it because none of you retards can see it yet.”

      And I’ll “keep” reminding you – you’ve got no friends. Nobody likes you. Have fun spending Friday night alone you, pudgy, douché bag.

      • How come, Nice Guy, every time I call Alanzo at night, he has a woman with a beautiful-sounding voice in the background, saying sweet things to him and asking him if he wants something – and I do not mean ho hos or ring dings.

        • —Every time I call Alanzo at night, he has a woman with a beautiful-sounding voice in the background.

          She’s a OnlyFans model residing on Alanzo’s laptop.

          • —I don’t know. She sounded like a real woman, and why was she talking about Amway?

            Scott’s wife moonlights when she is not selling Amway products or blowing strangers at the VFW.

  • Garaufis definitely showed bias against Raniere. One would have to be in a state of denial not to acknowledge that.

    The issue I have is that Tullys failure to properly reference law. What troubling is that the judges wouldn’t favor Raniere (or any defendant) because the attorney failed at their role.

    It seems judicial discretion is used liberally – so liberally that due process is often violated, yet when discretion can be used to agree upon bias, they will not go against their own. No Justice.

  • Frank, thank you, for the superb reporting and excellent explanation of the complexities of procedural law. You, my cerebral, sir deserve to have the title “esquire” at the end of your name.

    Excelsior! True Believers!

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.” In addition, 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 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.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com