[Editor’s Note: This post concerns a lengthy filing by the prosecution with respect to the issue of attorney/client privilege as regards the various communications that were found on the electronic devices seized from Nancy Salzman’s former house. Although some may find it a bland and tedious, we are posting it because the issue of attorney/client privilege is going to be critical to the outcome of the case of U.S. v. Raniere Et Al]
The prosecution has apparently decided to stop “playing nice” when it comes to the issue of attorney/client privilege – especially with respect to the privilege claims that have been asserted by Clare Bronfman.
In its reply – which was submitted on Friday, January 18th – the prosecution responded to all the issues that Bronfman’s attorneys had raised.
The prosecution also revealed, for the first time, some of the foot-dragging and bizarre arguments that Bronfman and her attorneys are using to delay the resolution of exactly what evidence can be used at trial.
When it comes to the issue of attorney/client privilege, the prosecution has consistently made four major arguments:
(1) Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege generally lack any factual or legal support and the government’s motion is not premature;
(2) Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to her communications with Marianna Fernandez and Frontier Solutions lack any factual or legal support;
(3) Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to her communications with Frontier Solutions [Dennis Burke and John Sandweg] and Jonathan Ware, Esq. lack any factual or legal support; and
(4) Nxivm’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to its communications with its Mexican attorneys lack any factual or legal support.
Let’s take a look at each of these arguments – and see what the government has to say in its latest filing.
RE: Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege generally lack any factual or legal support and the government’s motion is not premature
– Bronfman’s attorneys have asserted that the courts have generally recognized a valid attorney-client privilege between an attorney, a visa applicant, and a third party.
– But, because they’ve been so busy filing other frivolous motions, they apparently didn’t have time to find any cases that support this assertion.
– Instead, they cited a journal article about “dual representation” that had already been rejected by another U.S. District Court in an unrelated case.
– Bronfman’s attorneys have also argued that the relationship between her, a visa applicant and the visa attorney would be a multiple representation or covered by a common interest agreement.
– But, once again, they didn’t cite any cases that support this assertion – which means that it’s nothing more than an unsupported conclusory assertion.
– Best of all is Bronfman’s response to the government’s assertion that she has refused to provide any legal or factual authority for her assertions of privilege.
– Rather than simply admit that she has no such authority, Bronfman asserts that to provide that information to the government would be a violation of her attorney/client privilege.
RE: Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to her communications with Marianna Fernandez and Frontier Solutions lack any factual or legal support
– Bronfman has asserted that the intent of both her and Marianna Fernandez was that to have Frontier Solutions act as counsel for both of them – and that, as a result, any communications among the three of them would remain confidential.
– But the government points out that none of the communications in question actually involved Fernandez – and that, in any event, Bronfman shared all of them with Keith Raniere, thereby blowing up any attorney/client privilege that may have been established.
– The government then adds a slam dunk by noting that “Even if Bronfman could establish such a privilege, the communications between Frontier Solutions fall within the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege because there is probable cause to believe that the objective of Bronfman’s communications with Frontier Solutions was intended to facilitate or conceal immigration fraud”.
– The government also notes that Clare was an active participant in this immigration fraud because of her false claim that Fernandez “has never not complied with USA immigration laws” even though she was well aware that Fernandez had lived illegally in the U.S. for almost a decade.
– Finally, the government drops a new bombshell when it reveals, for the first time, that Raniere was planning to supply the $500,000 that Fernandez would need in order to apply for an EB-5 visa by raiding the estate of the late Pam Cafritz even though to do so would violate his fiduciary duties as the estate’s executor.
RE: Bronfman’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to her communications with Frontier Solutions and Jonathan Ware, Esq. lack any factual or legal support
– Bronfman also asserted that an attorney-client privilege existed with respect to communications between her (as owner of Ethical Science Foundation/ESF), Jonathan Ware, the Georgia-based attorney who was hired by ESF, and the various NXIVM-related visa applicants who applied through ESF.
– But, once again, the government points out that Bronfman has cited no cases to back up this assertion.
– And, to further undercut her assertion, the government notes that Bronfman failed to establish that either of the two applicants involved in this matter – i.e., B.M., a South African national, and P.S.H., a German national – were ever employees of ESF.
– Finally, the government notes that “…it appears that ESF existed primarily as a vehicle through which employees of Rainbow Cultural Garden, LLC sought visas”.
[This runs completely contradictory to Bronfman’s claims that Ethical Science Foundation has a noble ethical mission and instead appears to be a front for illegally getting fuck toy nannies for Keith to profit from.]
RE: Nxivm’s claims of attorney/client privilege as to its communications with its Mexican attorneys lack any factual or legal support
– NXIVM has claimed that it has attorney/client privilege in terms of two Mexican lawyers who were carrying out various tasks for the company.
– But, as the government points out, NXIVM has failed to provide any documentation to substantiate such a relationship.
– And, as the government goes on to note, “Even if it had, the communications fall within the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege because there is probable cause to believe that these communications were made solely with the intent and for the purpose of intimidating and silencing DOS victims”.
In short the attorneys were retained to intimidate and threaten such as Catherine Oxenberg, certain DOS slaves and other potential witnesses, and not for any valid legal purpose.
– The government asserts “The communications between Bronfman and Raniere clearly demonstrate that, far from consulting an attorney to determine the possible legality of a particular course of action,” Bronfman and Raniere used attorneys in Mexico to send letters that Bronfman and Raniere drafted for the sole purpose of intimidating these victims.
So, there you have it. All of the attorney/client privilege arguments that have been asserted to date by Bronfman and NXIVM have been totally blown up by the prosecution.
And having accomplished that feat, the government now seeks the following rulings from the presiding judge in the case, Nicholas G. Garaufis:
(1) Bronfman has failed to meet her burden to establish a personal attorney/client privilege over written communications between Bronfman, Marianna Fernandez, and attorneys of Frontier Solutions LLC – and, even if she had, such communications are not privileged under the crime-fraud exception;
(2) Bronfman has failed to meet her burden to establish an attorney-client privilege as an owner of Ethical Science Foundation over written communications between her, various applicants for United States visas (including B.M. and P.S.H.), and Georgia-based attorney Jonathan Ware;
(3) Nxivm has failed to meet its burden to establish attorney-client privilege over written communications that were shared between Nxivm representatives, various visa applicants, and attorneys;
(4) Nxivm has failed to meet its burden to establish an attorney-client privilege over written communications with Mr. Ricardo Olmedo of Olmedo Gaxiola & Abogados and Diego Ruiz Durán of Bufete Ruiz Durán S.C. and formerly of CLG Abogados – even and, if it had, such communications are not privileged under the crime/fraud exception.
[Let’s take a break here from the dry legal arguments to show you some authentic photos from the Facebook of Bufete Ruiz Duran, Raniere and Bronfman’s Mexican attorney used to intimidate enemies. I think you’ll agree, he’s one scary guy.]
It is expected that Judge Garaufis will issue a ruling on these matters sometime before the next scheduled Status Conference on February 6th. If the judge rules in favor of the prosecution – which we believe he almost certainly will – then it’s quite possible that the NXIVM Numskulls will employ the same tactics that Raniere has used for the past twenty years and appeal this issue all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
An April 29th “Start Date” for the trial?
Not a chance.