A juror in the federal trial of five Proud Boys members accused of plotting to stop Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election has raised fears that she was being followed, according to multiple people familiar with the matter – the latest incident to delay the already monthslong trial.
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.
The incident was discussed in multiple sealed hearings this week, sources told CNN.
An attorney for a coalition of media outlets asked District Judge Timothy Kelly to keep one of the hearings on Wednesday unsealed and accessible to the public on First Amendment grounds. Several defense attorneys joined the motion, which Kelly ultimately denied without stating his exact reason for doing so.
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.
The trial, which started in December, has been roiled by last-minute delays from new evidence, an unknown informant, legal battles, and internecine arguments between counsel. Despite hopes that closing arguments could start as early as next week, the delays show no signs of stopping.
Lawyers for the five defendants on trial – Enrique Tarrio, Dominic Pezzola, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl – declined to comment to CNN on the matter. Government prosecutors also declined to comment, as did the court.
It remains unclear what, if anything, will happen as a result of the juror’s allegation. Several defense lawyers told CNN they want a mistrial but did not believe that Kelly would grant that request. It is also possible that the judge could dismiss the juror in question and replace her with an alternate.
CNN has reached out to the US Marshals Service to inquire as to whether there is an investigation into the juror’s allegations.