A Pennsylvania mother, Rachel Powell, has gotten more than she bargained for as she has been slammed with a hefty prison sentence for her indiscretions in 2021.
Powell is one of the Donald Trump supporters who participated in what is now dubbed the “January 6 United States Capitol attack” in 2021. She made the headlines for her role in helping the rioters break into the United States Capitol.
The mother of 8 was reported to have used a bullhorn to shout out instructions to the other rioters, giving them detailed layouts of the capitol. According to reports, Powell asked them to “coordinate together if you are going to take this building” and said, “We got another window to break to make in-and-out easy.”
Evidence presented at her trial also showed her using “a large pipe as a ramming device to breach windows of the Capitol to gain access.” The rioters ended up assaulting and injuring at least 100 police officers, destroying property, and sending Capitol staff scrambling for safety. Meanwhile, a protester was shot dead by the police.
When news of her actions made the rounds on social media, her identity was unknown. She was simply nicknamed the “Pink Hat Lady” because she donned a pink puffer hat that made her conspicuous. Others called her the “Bullhorn Lady” in reference to the megaphone she carried.
It wasn’t until online tipsters, Sedition Hunters, discovered and revealed her identity that people were able to put a face to the name. Days later, the FBI stormed her apartment in Sandy Lake in Mercer County. They discovered rope cell phones, bags filled with duct tape, and various weapons.
Powell was charged to court on a variety of felony counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building, destruction of government property, and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
During the legal proceedings, prosecutors asked the court for an 8-year prison term citing Powell’s “obsession with keeping former President Trump in power,” even to the point of surveilling a female legislator’s home before the protests.
Powell was also not remorseful after the January 6 riots. According to the prosecutors, she attempted to downplay the gravity of her actions in an article where she asked, “Should I go to prison for years over a broken window because of a protest that got out of control?” However, Powell’s lawyer said that she is “remorseful of her outrageous conduct that day.”
After hearing arguments from both sides, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced her to 57 months in federal prison with 3 years of supervised release. The 43-year-old was also mandated to pay a $5,000 fine and make restitution to the tune of $2,753.
Powell said she was ashamed of her actions. In her words, “My conduct was disgraceful. I apologize to my family for the hell they have endured because of me.”