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Rumors Circulate As Trial Comes To a Close – No Defense? – Raniere To Do Closing Argument?

Rumors continue to circulate today in the EDNY courthouse that Keith Raniere and his defense team will not offer any defense after the prosecution rests its case.

Instead, they will apparently argue that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof with respect to any of the seven charges that Raniere is facing – and ask the jury to acquit him on all of them.

Just to remind our readers, the seven charges that Raniere is facing in this trial are as follows:
– Racketeering Conspiracy
– Racketeering
– Forced Labor Conspiracy
– Wire Fraud Conspiracy
– Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
– Sex Trafficking
– Attempted Sex Trafficking

Four other charges that were included in the second superseding indictment were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds – and referred to the Northern District of New York (NDNY). Those four charges are as follows:
– Sexual Exploitation Of A Child (Incident #1)
– Sexual Exploitation Of A Child (Incident #2)
– Possession Of Child Pornography
– Conspiracy To Commit Identity Theft (Clare Bronfman is also facing this charge in the NDNY)


Closing Arguments & Jury Charge
If the rumors are correct, then all that will be left after today’s direct testimony and cross-examination will be the closing arguments by both sides – and the jury charge by the presiding judge, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis

Those three items will likely take 2-3 days.

Which means that in all likelihood, the jury will start deliberations on the case by the middle of next week.


Raniere To Give Closing Argument For the Defense?
But there’s another rumor circulating in the courthouse today . . .

That Keith Raniere will be doing his own closing argument!

When we first heard this, we thought it was just some sort of courtroom humor.

But as the rumor has persisted – and as we’ve reflected more on Keith Raniere – we’ve begun to think there’s a chance, albeit a small one, that it could be true.

To understand why we believe that, readers must first understand the story of Howard Roark, the protagonist in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

Ayn Rand

Howard Roark: The Fountainhead
Howard Roark is a brilliant young architect who strives to stay true to his artistic visions in the modernist movement rather than conform to the traditional ways of his profession and reject innovation.

Gary Cooper as Howard Roark

But he is expelled from the Architecture Department of the Stanton Institute of Technology because of his refusal to adhere to the school’s preference for historical convention in building design.

Roark moves to New York City – and goes to work for Henry Cameron, a once-renowned architect who no longer gets many jobs.

Meanwhile, Peter Keating, one of Roark’s former classmates at Stanton, graduates with top honors from the school – and lands a job at the prestigious Francon & Heyer architectural firm, which is also in New York City.

Eventually, Keating asks Roark to do the design work for a very important project that Keating has been hired to develop.

Roark agrees to do so – subject to two conditions: (1) he must remain anonymous and (2) there can no changes to his design.

After finishing the design work, Roark departs for a long vacation.

When he returns, he finds that Keating has allowed several major changes to be made to the building he designed.

Distraught with these developments, Roark blows up the building.

Roark is arrested – and goes to trial.

At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, Roark offers no defense – but opts instead to explain why he blew up the building in the closing argument that he delivers to the jury.

Despite the fact that Roark is obviously guilty of the charges he is facing, the jury acquits him in what amounts to a case of jury nullification.

(There’s much more to this story – but none of it is particularly relevant to Keith)


Keith Raniere: Rational Inquiry
So, here we have Keith Alan Raniere AKA The Vanguard, whose beliefs – as bizarre and illogical as some find them to be – are just as important to him as Howard Roark’s were when he decided to blow up the building he had designed.

Surely, Keith will take this opportunity to explain to the jury why he did what he did – and why he should not be found guilty of anything.

Howard Roark has always been one of Keith’s heroes.

And a Vanguard – a true Vanguard – must surely stand up for his core beliefs, the things that make him who he is.

Vanguard himself appears onstage at V-Week.

Plus, by not taking the witness stand – and limiting himself to just the closing argument – Keith will have avoided what undoubtedly would have been a vigorous cross-examination by the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza.

Keith has nothing to lose by doing the closing argument himself – and everything to gain.

Imagine how spellbinding he would be when he is the only one speaking in what will undoubtedly be a packed courtroom.

Imagine what he could do with an unlimited amount of time to explain his beliefs without any interruptions.

He only has to convince one juror to get a hung jury – which, given Keith’s abilities to convince people to do what he wants, should be a very easy thing to do.

Convincing all twelve to acquit may be more difficult.

But if Howard Roark could do it, then surely Keith can.

Not doing the closing argument would almost be an affirmation that Keith is nothing more than a bully who hides in the bathroom – or runs away – when he’s confronted by angry women.

Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar are angry women.

Are Tanya Hajjar and Moira Kim Penza laughing at Keith?

Doesn’t Keith have to stand up to them – and defend himself?


About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.


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  • DO IT, KEITH! Not that your brilliant mind needs my help, but consider using this outline:

    1. Start with a joke. Obviously, the suspenders/moped knee slapper needs to make an appearance.
    2. Make eye contact with the jurors. But don’t stare at them too much – it will creep them out.
    3. Smile at all your exes in the audience. Maybe the jury will think they are showing up in your support.
    4. Show some pictures of you doing amazing things. (dodging rain, breaking sprinting records, fitting into your volleyball shorts etc.)
    5. Embed your facts in a story. Everyone loves a good story. Just be careful with how deep of a trance you put them in.
    6. Make a joke about your sexual inadequacies. The jury has already had their chuckles. Might as well anchor yourself to those good times, and show them that you can laugh at yourself.
    7. Give some examples of how you healed people with your sexual energy. (well maybe this one is just for my entertainment)
    8. In closing, look solemn – but ADMIT NOTHING. Deny, deny, deny!

    You got this, Keith. Don’t let us down!

  • Question: Can the defense have Agnifilo and Rainiere split the task of conducting the closing argument? Could there be an advantage to having both of them conduct it?

    • How strange. So if he did have rightful access to millions to use for his bond (assuming the estate had been probated), was concealing it to his detriment? The Judge denied his bond requests in part because without putting up his own money, he would have no skin in the game to prevent him from fleeing.

      Maybe his strategy – whatever it was – backfired on him?

      I don’t get it.

  • The stage is set for Raniere.
    Klaviger is right. He has nothing to lose.
    Penza can’t question him and the jury wants to hear from him.
    Keith has everything to gain by going for it. If he fails, he’ll be able to live easier with himself. He will know he was able to put his voice and vision into the trial.

  • Rest their case ? Already? What happened to the mountains of evidence? All the text messages, the emails? Did Clare buy them all ? We should be just getting started! !!! WTF

  • Frank, Yes, it would have taken panache but we know that Raniere doesn’t have any… and we’re not at the cinema

  • Given the vanturds ego, I can completely see this, especially if his attorney is tiring of the shenanigans. Still feels like nowhere near enough effort has been made by the govt though.

    • Snorlax,
      Just from reading the Frank Report’s numerous stories over the past few years, we can see that the government has at most covered ten per cent of NXIVM’s crimes.
      The proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    • I don’t know enough about the standard of proof for the charges he’s facing.

      Either way, once this trial is concluded we should expect action from the NDNY and possibly the IRS, IMO.

      He is not getting acquitted, and even with a hung jury, he is not walking. I’ll bet EDNY would retry him.

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