Four former FBI and other experts certify planting of evidence in US v. Raniere
Seven experts, including four former top FBI experts, certify planting of evidence in US v. Raniere; A former US Attorney, Alan Dershowitz, and Central Park 5 Exoneree call for accountability and an immediate evidentiary hearing
A press conference was held to unveil the findings of seven forensic experts of FBI corruption in the case of US v. Keith Raniere.
The experts and a panel of advocates, including Professor Alan Dershowitz, Central Park 5 Exoneree Dr. Yusef Salaam, and former US Attorney Bud Cummins, discussed the matter.
Former FBI Special Agent and Forensic Examiner Dr. James Richard Kiper said that all six experts “concluded that the digital evidence devices used to convict Mr. Raniere of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor were significantly manipulated. Additionally, we know to a scientific certainty some of the evidence was altered while in the possession of the FBI.”
Former Senior Forensic Examiner Stacy Eldridge said, “It is clear that the photos in this case were planted there.”
Former FBI Forensic Examiner William Odom said, “In 25 years of digital forensic investigations, five of which was with the FBI, the amount of premeditation to perform this fraud — I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Former FBI Special Agent, OIG Special Agent, Cyber Program Manager, Acting Unit Chief, Senior Supervisory Residing Agent, and Forensic Examiner Mark Daniel Bowling said, “It is a complete technical certainty that much, if not all, of the digital evidence, including both the WD HDD and CF Card, was manipulated prior to analysis.”
Professor Dershowitz, who represents Raniere and Clare Bronfman, said, “If true, this is a historic level of corruption…There must be immediate action. There should swiftly be an evidentiary hearing. Appropriate relief may include a new trial or even dismissal of the indictment due to outrageous government conduct. If there is a hearing, Mr. Raniere wishes to attend by video conference rather than be transported.”
Dershowitz challenged the media to cover this issue and remarked, “This is a great test of our legal system. Whether you like Mr. Raniere or not, the question is, ‘Can we be fair to those we despise?’”
Professor Sullivan, who also represents Bronfman, said, “The only reason that Ms. Bronfman and the others accepted a plea bargain is because this so-called evidence appeared at the eleventh hour and it was so prejudicial that they felt this was their only option.”
Sullivan also criticized the government’s response to this evidence, saying “Assistant US Attorney Kevin Trowel called it “frivolous.” Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis deferred ruling on this evidence, classifying it as not raising a substantial issue. Attorney General Merrick Garland then awarded this prosecution and FBI team for their distinguished service.”
US Attorney Cummins said, “If an independent investigation determines that this tampering occurred, there must be accountability. People have to be criminally prosecuted. This is very serious, and the people responsible need to be held accountable.”
Dr. Yusef Salaam said in a pre-recorded video statement, “If this can happen to someone who is white, who is educated, who has the complexion for acceptance, none of us are safe.”
Joseph Tully, Raniere’s appellate attorney said, “It appears that [Mr. Raniere] is being retaliated against in the prison based on our filings…. Now, he is enduring more confinement in the SHU, again without cause, this time for over 60 days and counting. I call upon the warden of the facility where Mr. Raniere is housed, Warden Mark Gutierrez, to investigate Mr. Raniere’s conditions. I am further concerned that Mr. Raniere may be transferred to another location where his safety may be threatened.”
Tully filed a motion to stay Raniere’s appeal so that this evidence of FBI fraud and perjury could be presented in a hearing immediately before Judge Garaufis.
Tully wrote in an attachment to the motion, “[W]hen the tampering in this case is finally acknowledged in Court… the actions of any governmental actors subsequently proven to be involved, will need to be questioned and reexamined in all other cases in which they were allowed to work.”