The Long List of Reasons Why Potential Intimidation of Proud Boy Jurors Must Be Taken Seriously

Enrique Tarrio has already been investigated by a grand jury in Prettyman Courthouse for any role he had in threats to undermine a criminal prosecution.

That’s important background to Brandi’s report, at the end of her update on the Proud Boys trial, of how much of last week the trial was halted for a series of sealed hearings.

Apart from routine objections launched by the defense to even the most mundane of issues and separate from the unending series of motions for mistrial, last week featured a new and unwelcome variable: the sealed hearing.

A sealed hearing, or a hearing closed to the public and press, is typically held when sensitive or classified matters are being discussed by the parties. Trial days were stopped and started three times last week for sealed hearings that stretched for more than an hour. A press coalition moved to unseal proceedings on at least one of those days but was promptly denied by Judge Kelly for reasons he failed to describe on the record.

Though the exact reason was not disclosed by the court (nor would one expect it to be at this point), CNN reported that multiple sources said the sealed hearing was prompted after a juror raised concerns that she was being followed. Another juror has said they were “accosted” but no further details were available.

As CNN reported, a juror had become worried that someone was following her.

A juror told the court an individual came up to her outside of a Washington, DC, metro station and asked if she was a juror, multiple sources told CNN. The juror told court staff she had seen the same individual on several occasions and thought they might be following her.

Some jurors appear to be split on their views of the incidents, people familiar said. One juror told the judge he thought it was possible the interactions were random and it might have been someone experiencing homelessness in the area.


When other jurors found out about the incident, they also began to look out for the individual and had taken at least one picture of the person, according to someone familiar with the matter.

Other jurors also told the court in sealed hearings this week that they had been “accosted,” one source told CNN, though it’s unclear to what extent.

But that report and some of the discussions I’ve seen elsewhere didn’t describe the list of reasons why such threats should be taken seriously.

First, there’s the fact that defendant Enrique Tarrio has already been investigated in this courthouse for his potential role in a threat against a judge. In 2019, Amy Berman Jackson put Roger Stone under oath and asked how he came to post an Instagram post of her with crosshairs on it. He blamed the “volunteers” who had made the meme — one of whom, he named, was Tarrio.

Amy Berman Jackson. How was the image conveyed to you by the person who selected it?

Stone. It was emailed to me or text-messaged to me. I’m not certain.

Q. Who sent the email?

A. I would have to go back and look. I don’t recognize. I don’t know. Somebody else uses my —

THE COURT: How big is your staff, Mr. Stone?

THE DEFENDANT: I don’t have a staff, Your Honor. I have a few volunteers. I also — others use my phone, so I’m not the only one texting, because it is my account and, therefore, it’s registered to me. So I’m uncertain how I got the image. I think it is conceivable that it was selected on my phone. I believe that is the case, but I’m uncertain.

THE COURT: So individuals, whom you cannot identify, provide you with material to be posted on your personal Instagram account and you post it, even if you don’t know who it came from?

THE DEFENDANT: Everybody who works for me is a volunteer. My phone is used by numerous people because it can only be posted to the person to whom it is registered.


[AUSA] Jonathan Kravis. What are the names of the five or six volunteers that you’re referring to?

Stone. I would — Jacob Engles, Enrique Tarrio. I would have to go back and look

As CNN itself later reported, those whom Stone named were subpoenaed to testify about whether Stone had paid them to make threatening memes targeting his judge.

Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, had been helping him ​with his social media, Stone said under oath, as had the Proud Boys’ Florida chapter founder Tyler Ziolkowski, who went by Tyler Whyte at the time; Jacob Engels, a Proud Boys associate who is close to Stone and identifies himself as a journalist in Florida; and another Florida man named Rey Perez, whose name is spelled Raymond Peres in the court transcript​.

A few days later, federal authorities tracked down the men and gave them subpoenas to testify to a grand jury, according to Ziolkowski, who was one of the witnesses.

Ziolkowski and the others flew to DC in the weeks afterwards to testify.

“They asked me about if I had anything to do about posting that. They were asking me if Stone has ever paid me, what he’s ever paid me for,” Ziolkowski told CNN this week. When he first received the subpoena, the authorities wouldn’t tell Ziolkowski what was being investigated, but a prosecutor later told him “they were investigating the picture and if he had paid anybody,” Ziolkowski said. He says he told the grand jury Stone never paid him, and that he hadn’t posted the photo.

So four years ago, in this very courthouse, Tarrio or his associates were questioned about the circumstances of any participation they had in threatening a judge.

That wasn’t the only role the Proud Boys had in Stone’s witness tampering in that case. The first contact that Randy Credico had with FBI agents investigating 2016 was not the highly publicized grand jury testimony to which he brought his comfort dog Bianca. It was a Duty to Warn contact earlier that summer after the FBI had identified credible threats against him. Those credible threats came from the gangs, including the Proud Boys, that Stone hung out with.

In entirely unrelated news, Credico posted pictures showing him in Moscow last week.

It didn’t end with Stone’s guilty verdict, either. After the verdict, Stone associates got leaked copies of the jury questionnaires. Mike Cernovich started hunting down details on the jurors to retroactively cast doubt on the judgment, and Trump joined in the effort to create a mob. In the wake of those efforts, the jurors expressed fear and some regret at having served.

ALL 12 OF the jurors in the Roger Stone case have expressed fear in court filings on Wednesday. They worry they will continue to be harassed and they fear for the safety of themselves and their families if their identities are revealed.

According to The National Law Journal, jurors cited tweets from President Trump and remarks from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as the reason “the threats to the jurors’ safety and privacy persist” after the trial ended in November.

One juror wrote, “I try to stay away from danger, but now it seems like the danger is coming to me.”

The jurors are looking to thwart the legal efforts of right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who is attempting to make public the pretrial questionnaires the jurors filled out. Those questionnaires include jurors’ private information and employment history. The supposed aim of the petition to release the questionnaires is to vet them for bias in hopes of getting a new trial for Stone.

Another juror wrote, “Given the current climate of polarization and harassment, I do not want to draw any attention to myself, my family, or my employer in any way, shape, or form. It is intimidating when the president of the United States attacks the foreperson of a jury by name.”

“I am frightened that someone could harm my family simply because I was summoned and then chosen to serve on the jury,” another juror wrote.

The efforts to intimidate have continued to this case. During a period when Zach Rehl was reportedly considering a plea, Tarrio sent messages to other Proud Boys about remaining loyal.

“The bigger problem with that is the guys that are in prison right now are holding on to hope that everybody is f—ing staying put because they didn’t do anything wrong,” Tarrio said. “The moment that they think one of the guys flipped, it throws everything off and it makes everybody turn on each other, and that’s what we are trying to f—ing avoid.”

Asked about the audio message, Tarrio told Reuters he was simply trying to stop members from speculating that anyone had decided to help prosecutors who are examining the deadly insurrection. “What I was trying to avoid is them turning against each other because of media stories,” he said.

Trial testimony showed that witnesses for the defense — in this case Fernando Alonzo — made threatening comments about Eddie Block for posting the video of the Proud Boys he shot on January 6. [Warning: he used an ableist slur against Block, who relies on a mobility scooter.]

Witnesses for other January 6 defendant have been harassed, as when one January 6 participant confronted Sergeant Aquilino Gonell during the trial of Kyle Fitzsimons on assault charges.

[January 6 participant Tommy] Tatum also tried to confront another officer, this one with the Capitol Police, in a courthouse elevator on Wednesday. He recorded and posted clips of both exchanges with the officers and identified himself outside the courthouse.

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who is also testifying in the trial, said that Tatum told him that he should be ashamed of himself in an exchange near the bathroom inside the courthouse on Wednesday. Shortly after, Tatum got into an expletive-laden confrontation with David Laufman, an attorney for Gonell, after he tried to get into an elevator with Gonell, Laufman and an NBC News reporter.

NBC News separately heard Tatum make negative comments inside the courthouse about how he believed Gonell was acting. Outside the courthouse, Tatum recorded himself accusing Gonell of committing perjury.

The confrontations with Gonell came before the conclusion of his testimony in the case against Fitzsimons, who is accused of assaulting Gonell inside the tunnel. Gonell’s cross-examination by Fitzsimons’ federal public defender will continue on Thursday morning.

“For Sgt. Gonell to be accosted like that, within the courthouse and while he remains a live witness at trial, was outrageous and amounts to witness intimidation that promptly should be addressed by the court as well as the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Laufman, who is representing Gonell pro bono, told NBC News on Wednesday night.

Finally, there are other key players in January 6 — most notably former Green Beret, Ivan Raiklin, who played a key role in Operation Pence Card, the effort to pressure Pence to overturn the election — who lurk around all events associated with January 6. Fellow Proud Boy Gabriel Garcia, in a recent bid to avoid pre-trial release sanctions for going to CPAC after he told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was coming to DC to observe — among other things — the Proud Boys trial, claimed that he hung out with Raiklin at CPAC to formulate his defense.

While at CPAC, Mr. Garcia was working on his defense to these charges. Indeed, he asked Congressman M. Gaetz, who is from Mr. Garcia’s home state, how and when could his defense team access the 40,000 hours of unreleased video Capitol Police have. Also, he and his counsel met, and conferred extensively with, attorney Ivan Raiklin, whom they may retain for assistance and trial preparation. Mr. Raiklin had spoken to Mr. Garcia on March 2 at CPAC, and he told Mr. Garcia to return the next day with his counsel to discuss at length defense strategies, which they did.

Former Army Captain Garcia is one of the Proud Boys who, in exhibits submitted at trial (here, Gabriel PB), was issuing the most chilling threats in advance of January 6.

None of this makes things easier for Tim Kelly, as he tries to sustain this jury long enough to get through deliberations. It’s not yet clear whether the jurors, watching testimony about the extent to which Proud Boys using intimidation to protect their organization, are seeing shadows, or whether there’s a real attempt to intimidate jurors before they start deliberating.

But given the history of individuals directly associated with the defendants, the threat is not an idle one.

39 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    So much for these Boys to be Proud of. I especially liked this part:

    Tatum got into an expletive-laden confrontation with David Laufman, an attorney for Gonell, after he tried to get into an elevator with Gonell, Laufman and an NBC News reporter.

    By all means, get in a shouting match in the courthouse with a police officer/witness, with his lawyer and a reporter looking on. That’ll show ’em.

    slow golf clap

    OTOH, reading this makes me think about my upcoming summons for jury duty a little differently. Obviously, no idea whether I will be selected for a jury at all, or what that case might be, but still . . .

    • GSSH-FullyReduced says:

      If intimidation of witnesses, jurors and judges occurs in a criminal trial does the defense get to file for a mistrial? Is this a common delay tactic? Is it different in a GJ situation?Not having studied law, I can’t understand how RICO cases deal with this stuff in an impartial manner.

      • bmaz says:

        GSSH, the defense can always ask for a mistrial. They often do too often.

        What is this “RICO” thing you ask about? It is NEVER RICO. Ever.

        • GSSH-FullyReduced says:

          OK, thanks bmaz.

          I just asked about RICO naively because, well, sometimes it seems like tfg’s operation (and its long legs) evokes a type behavior I’d imagine in a mob boss’s modus operandi.

  2. Spank Flaps says:

    Ivan Raiklin was also (almost) tagged in another J6 hearing by Rep. Jamie Raskin, when he was questioning Jason Van Tatenhove.
    Paraphrasing Jamie Raskin – “… J6 rally organiser from Virginia who supplied thousands of dollars worth of tactical gear and explosives”.
    Here’s more on Ivan Raiklin:

  3. Doctor My Eyes says:

    It is no mystery what is happening in our country: authoritarians are attacking the foundations of our civil society. Intimidation and vilification backed by violence is their method of choice. We’ve seen this movie before.

    A scene from Cabaret seared itself into my memory years ago as an aha moment–this is how they take over. A bouncer who had thrown fascists out of the club is later beaten to death in the alley. The murder of one little-known bouncer is not major news. All the rhetoric is mere smoke screen, and the idiocy of much of the talk can give a false impression of incompetence. The talk is just for fun–violence and threats of violence is where the thugs live and how they affect things. Already today, citizens are afraid to be election workers and now we have efforts to make citizens afraid of jury duty. Takeover doesn’t happen through grand statements of ideology, overnight collapse of institutions, or gradual persuasion through propaganda. Takeover happens through individual acts of intimidation and violence, one person at a time.

    This is truly a disturbing story to be taken very seriously.

    • John Lehman says:

      “ This is truly a disturbing story to be taken very seriously.”
      Absolutely…vigilance is a must…it took a little less then ten years from the Beer Hall Putsch to the Reichstag fire and that Austrian racist had his own Proud Boys…oops excuse me….. Brown Shirts.

    • oldtulsadude says:

      Interesting comment. Reminds me of the response to Covid where people hunkered down and avoided unless it hit them personally.

    • Fenix says:

      “ First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Socialist
      Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Jew
      Then they came for me
      And there was no one left
      To speak out for me.”
      — A paraphrased poetic version of a confession written by Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran Minister who had, at one time, supported Hitler & the Nazis because they were anti-communist. He eventually changed his mind because the Nazi’s imprisoned him for speaking out against Nazi control over churches.

  4. Marji Campbell says:

    Another great but scary article. Something in this triggered me to wonder about the two bombs that were found near the capital on J6 – the mention of a green beret and an army captain? May be slightly OT, but we haven’t heard a peep about an investigation, and it seems like because there’s no media play, everyone has forgotten about it…… I worked with active duty military after returning from combat. Many were EOD, explosive ordnance disposal, guys.

    • Tech Support says:

      I think the more boring truth with the J6 bombs is that the leads have dried up. The investigators released videos of the bomber that were stitched together from all the different security cam glimpses they obtained in the hopes that somebody in the public would be able to offer some new information. Pretty sure anytime an investigation results in an open solicitation to the public that they have hit a brick wall and are desperate for anything.

  5. boatgeek says:

    While I agree that witness intimidation is more likely, could the person accosting jurors be someone from the media trying to get a source for post-trial interviews? Yes, approaching jurors at a Metro station is a scummy tactic and not likely to succeed, but it’s not something I’d put past some elements of the media.

      • boatgeek says:

        Well, sure they *should*. But given how much poor behavior* I’ve seen from the local press in a relatively minor incident that was local but not national news, I’m not convinced they wouldn’t do something like that.

        * Mainly trespassing and getting up into an active fire scene. I don’t think anyone actually interfered with the response, but they were an annoyance to the property owner.

    • FourEmilias says:

      That seems like a funny way to approach a source. Not saying that it wasn’t a journo, but don’t they usually identify themselves, in part because humans like the idea of their words appearing in print or pixels.

      In a quarter of a century living and working in DC, in a job that involved on site client visits to the Hill, Pentagon and courts, the Metro was a great way to get around. I’ve been asked, and told, all sorts of fascinating things; but never, not once did anyone ask if I was a juror.

      Had I been serving on a jury and some person walked up and asked if I were, it would be rather alarming. “Are you a juror?” is not the new “What’s your sign?”.

  6. Savage Librarian says:

    I walked into the bathroom this morning and suddenly there was a bright pink flash outside the window and then BOOM! A transformer popped. I called the city’s electric authority to report it and they told me the resulting power outage impacted 10 customers. Maybe some of them called as well, but I knew some of them were gone to work or not home.

    I was given an estimated time of repair. It took a little longer than that, but it was all fixed within 2 hours. I guess I could have just ignored it and waited to see what happened. Maybe they would have automagically become aware of it. Or maybe someone else would call it in. But no matter what, I still felt like I did the right thing, both for myself and for my neighbors.

    During my own difficult experiences, an attorney told some people, “You know, I’m sure ‘SL’ won’t tell you this, but there were, no doubt, times when she had every reason to be scared.” I told those same people, “No, I have every reason to be angry and determined. And other people should be, too.”

    As FDR said, ““the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    We need to step up to the promise of our Constitution, knowing that there will be arduous challenges. Individual efforts matter a great deal. Yesterday, Rep. Justin Jones took back his seat at the Tennessee Capitol. That is an inspiration to replicate, no matter where or when.

    We need to keep the power on, the heat up, and the lights shining. I’ll bet on the cool moves of wise men and women over proud boys, any day.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      What a smart and logical comment, SL.

      Furthering your thoughts on stepping up to support the Constitution, which is the bedrock for our current liberties, is the concept that we should all be willing to sacrifice if necessary.

      Sometimes we just need to spend time helping each other get food or to the voting place. Sometimes we need to actively push back on bad policies, or push back on people that want to hurt society.

      I haven’t been tested this much yet, but sometimes we should be prepared to confront evil even if it means personal harm. I think, and I hope, that I will.

  7. duderino says:

    ..”Stone. I would — Jacob Engles, Enrique Tarrio. I would have to go back and look”

    This is probably a dumb question. When a judge hears ‘I would have to go back and look’, is there any follow-up? How often does a judge say ,”Get back with the other names, tomorrow at the latest” ?

  8. FiestyBlueBird says:

    We need another Democrat to win the White House in the 2024 election to have any chance of chasing a majority of this country’s fascists back to their underground hibernation tunnels for a few more decades.

    Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term.

    Who would have the balls and the sway for an intervention on him now, though? He’s over-performed.

    And then, who is young(er) with the right stuff for eight years?

    Rhetorical questions; not intended to hi-jack.

    Thanks Marcy, Rayne, Brandi, bmaz, and all. This is me on alcohol on a fine spring day in a warming world. Gonna go back outside and enjoy it.

  9. ex_DOJ_guy says:

    Threats against family are scary as hell. They did not lead me to back off when I was in government, but they led me not to go back for a second appointment. Threats against myself kind of didn’t do anything, maybe just made me more determined (a la Savage Librarian, above.) The pattern of practice of juror and judge intimidation by these should-be-ashamed boys and their associates is awful.

    Not sock-puppeting, mods, just want this one on the anonymous shelf.

    [Thanks for letting us know the intent behind username on this comment, fully understood in this case. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      You are fine. My law partner and I once flew in specialists to clear our office and homes. And times were simpler then. It can be scary. But when you have a wife and fledgling family though…?

  10. Vinnie Gambone says:

    … things were simpler then.” Yeah, then the ratios of crazies with arms was smaller. Now?

    Duderino’s question about …” Does the judge follow up?… is a good one. Does Law Enforcement investigate or trace threatening calls? Rarely do you hear an arrest for threats given the number of threats that have been reported in the Trump era.

    I think of Judge Vance’s 1989 murder by pipe-bomb, the murder of Judge Salas’s son, and shooting of her husband just two years ago. Gun violence is so prevalent that,yes, EVERY threat strikes home. Once threatened, horrible thoughts you can’t just shake out of your mind like you shake a stone out of your shoe.

    The deepest shittiest circle in Dante’s inferno should be reserved for scumbags who call people’s houses and threaten them, or threaten them by other means. And these groups engender these sorts of worms to threaten people, and next, in your face intimidation , and then finally attacks.
    And afterwards, they laugh about it. They go hunting for people to beat up. Anti-fa seems to have wisely disappeared but these turds are still around.

    Yeah, these are not simpler times. These ARE dangerous times. These people are nuts and fomenting violence.

    Jail the Oswalds, but find the pipe bomber.

    Maybe eventually somebody in the J6 choir will sing a song worth hearing.

    Threats from what I read are extremely prevalent, hence the fear of doxing. Guessing most/ many threats come from boxer shorts drunks, but some I believe are agents on a more coordinated enterprise. Snot Rag Roger Stone loves this shit. He conceives himself some type of Svengali, and recruiting xbox babies to do his bidding is his fantasy.

    But I don’t sense those on trial are gun totters, or pipe bombers. Nothing I have seen in this trial speaks to interaction with QRF’s across the river, ( maybe was in Oath Keepers trials. I can’t keep up.

    My point is there is a far more sinister level at work inside this insurrection. Would a word search of AR-15’s turn up any hits and any trial transcripts, and yet we know people with AR-15’s were identified in the tree line. And the pipe bomber, $500K reward for info is a lot of money. I don’t sens any of these birds know a god darn thing about the pipe bomb, or the AR-15’s.

    But somebody knows. And sooner or later somebody’s gonna rat.
    I really hope somebody rats on Snot Rag Roger

  11. BSChief1 says:

    BTW, the photo of the “1776 flag” flying over the White House that Gabriel Garcia posted was a fake image, debunked by Politico.

  12. e.a. foster says:

    If jurors are being approached in the manner described, why aren’t they provided with an escort home? Given those on trial and their associates are known for their violence it would make more sense to select a jury and then have them stay in a hotel with security.

    Some day some one is going to be hurt or killed and then jury duty will be avoided at all costs.

    It is difficult sometimes to fathom what goes on in some people’s minds. If Roger Stone and those like him want to be “kings of the world” or whatever why don’t they run for office or do something. It would appear Stone is a bit of a coward, having others do his “dirty work”. Perhaps some one could explain to Stone, just because you run with people who are violent, doesn’t mean you are brave. Looks like Stone is simply looking for “adventure” and having protection at the same time. He just looks like a wierd little dude.

    • bmaz says:

      The term is jury sequestration. Turns out jurors hate it, and don’t really want it. They want to go home at night.

      Stone is, indeed, a weird little dude.

  13. Molly Pitcher says:

    Totally OT:

    Hey Rayne, knowing what a fan you are of Elmo

    “Something Else Is Happening With Twitter as Musk Sets Up New Company Called X Corp., Based In Nevada…Perhaps it’s a way of navigating Twitter’s legal liabilities, perhaps it’s a step toward creating a WeChat-esque “everything app,” or perhaps it’s a bit of both. But Elon Musk’s lawyers now say that Twitter “no longer exists,” and he tweeted just the letter “X.” ”

    • Rayne says:

      Been working on a post already about this, thanks. Whatever Musk says it’s about is surely not what it’s about if his handling of Twitter so far is any example.

  14. John Paul Jones says:

    Wed. 11th; Following on Twitter today, I’m getting the distinct impression that Hernandez is filibustering on direct so as to break up the continuity between direct and cross. Is she allowed to do that, or will Kelly warn her about wasting the jury’s time?

  15. GlennDexter says:

    Is juror information readily available to anyone who asks for it? I realize there is juror demographics available prior to picking jurors but is that information retained by parties other than the attorneys?
    The word is conspiracy. I’d read that there was a chance of mistrial but had no idea the breadth of the details occurring behind the scenes. I hope this results in additional charges and I hope the sealed hearings are the result of someone getting nervous and spilling the beans. More should know what’s occurring so I sent a link of this story to Maddow although i imagine she reads EW.
    It disgusts me when I hear that jurors are regretting their participation just like here in Arizona where even Republican election directors, staffs and volunteers are resigning due to harassment and threats from the Trump deliquents.

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