appear telephonically for the in-person Oral Argument set for Monday, February 11, 2019 at 12:30 p.m.
Michael Sullivan is the attorney for Nxivm. He too asked to be excused from appearing in court Monday though his attendance was optional.
Magistrate Judge Scanlon granted his request.
Readers may remember Sullivan. He was Keith Raniere’s attorney prior to his arrest and, according to Raniere’s first bail motion, Sullivan tried to find out from the Northern District of NY DOJ if Raniere was under investigation. Raniere was in Mexico at the time and, according to the bail motion, he really wanted to be cooperative and was not in hiding.
The curious part of the story is that Sullivan contacted the Northern District of NY DOJ, not the Eastern District of NY.
Many people would assume that Sullivan, or at least his client Raniere, would have known better than to call the Northern District since it was reported in the New York Times and elsewhere [including the Frank Report] that it was the Eastern District that was investigating Raniere.
In addition to that, according to the prosecution, the FBI went to Monterrey and visited the Executive Success Program’s office in San Pedro Garza Garcia and left cards seeking to contact Raniere. These agents were not from the Northern District. Had Sullivan contacted these agents, they would surely have directed him to contact the EDNY.
Whether Raniere told Sullivan this choice bit of info – or deliberately misled him into calling the Northern District is unknown.
Still, one thinks, Sullivan should have been able to ascertain the right district DOJ by simply googling Raniere and reading about his branding-related plight and how the Eastern District was investigating him.
But somehow Sullivan only called the Northern District who said they were not investigating.
Had Sullivan contacted the right district, he would have likely found that Raniere was indeed under investigation and possibly he could have alleviated concerns that Raniere planned to flee. This may have spared the FBI having to search for him for over a month – while he shifted from Monterrey to Puerto Vallarta – after ditching his cell phone and using encrypted email.
Sullivan – perhaps inadvertently, for he may have been misled by the world’s smartest man – was the agent, at least in part, for Raniere being in jail today awaiting trial after having been denied bail three times – largely because he was in Mexico when he was arrested.
Sometimes a man can be too smart for his own good.
In any event Sullivan – who is also representing Nancy Salzman in the action by the feds to seize Keith’s “sex lair” which she owns at 8 Hale Court in Clifton Park – has asked to be excused from Monday’s hearing where he appears as the attorney for the company Nxivm.