MANHATTAN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Keith Raniere, former leader of the Clifton Park-based NXIVM cult, continues to fight his conviction from prison. His lawyer wants a new trial for the disgraced self-improvement guru, and wants it without the judge who presided over the 2019 trial.

Raniere’s 120-year prison sentence that started in 2020 continues, after an appeals court upheld his conviction last month. Tuesday, his attorney, Joseph Tully, appeared in a federal appeals court in Manhattan asking that Judge Nicholas Garaufis be disqualified before the motion for a new trial is dealt with, taking issue with what he feels has been “bias” on the bench.

“If there’s a question about a judge and his partiality, that should be decided first, before they decide another substantive motion,” Tully told NEWS10.

After several minutes of arguments during the 2:00 P.M. proceeding, the court said it would take the matter under submission.

On the issue of the motion he submitted for a new trial, Raniere’s lawyer feels it stands a chance of being more successful than the appeal that was rejected last month. He is alleging the FBI tampered with evidence related to child pornography on a hard drive.

“It’ll be a completely different set of issues,” Tully explained, “the new trial will be focused solely on the tampering, where the appeal was not.”

Federal prosecutors have denied Raniere’s claims of government tampering with evidence.

“Whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy, a nice person or the devil, everybody deserves a fair trial,” Tully said.

Tully is the latest to take on Raniere’s case, in what’s been a sort of revolving door of representation.

“Whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy, a nice person or the devil, everybody deserves a fair trial,” Tully said.

Toni Natalie, who dated Raniere in the 90’s and was one of the first to speak out against him, said in a statement to NEWS10 that she has faith in the Eastern District of New York court, and any judge who would preside over the case, adding, “it’s the same playbook with different players, “terrorism by litigation,” and just another way for Raniere to retraumatize his victims.”

Last month, the court also upheld the conviction of Clare Bronfman, a former director of NXVIM. The Seagram’s liquor fortune heir was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months in prison for her role in NXIVM. She was convicted of conspiracy to conceal and harbor aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of personal identification information.