Judge tells Capitol siege 'bullhorn lady' she's 'so unpatriotic it makes my straight hair curl'

  • “Bullhorn Lady” Rachel Powell was released to house arrest pending her trial for charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
  • Powell, a 40-year-old mother of eight, was filmed wielding a bullhorn to direct rioters inside the Capitol.
  • The conditions of her release require that she wear a mask at all times in public.
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A Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania, woman dubbed “bullhorn lady” during the January 6 Capitol riots was released under house arrest but told she must wear a mask at all times in public. 

Judge Beryl Howell offered the mask mandate after it was made clear that Powell had repeatedly refused to wear masks in the past, and had actually been fired from a job for refusing to wear one. In late December she posted “I’m unashamedly a ‘super spreader'” on Facebook, according to The New Yorker.

Speaking to Powell during her release hearing, Howell said that her actions were “so unpatriotic it makes my straight hair curl,” according to The Daily Beast. 

Powell, 40, is among the more than 250 people who have been charged in connection with the January 6 Capitol siege.

The mother of eight was filmed at the Capitol shouting instructions into a bullhorn and directing rioters around the Capitol. She has been charged with depredation of government property, entering restricted buildings or grounds with a dangerous weapon, entering restricted buildings or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

According to prosecutors, Powell “picked up a large pipe and used it as a battering ram to break into the United States Capitol. Then, amplified by a large bullhorn, she corralled her fellow rioters and gave instructions on how to ‘take’ the Capitol, including instructions that revealed operative knowledge of the inner-Capitol layout.”

Prosecutors said she ordered rioters to “coordinate together if you are going to take this building,” and alerted them they had “another window to break.” 

Powell was the subject of a February 2 New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow, in which she identified photos of herself taken at the Capitol on the day of the siege.

Alluding to her “bullhorn lady” moniker, she told Farrow: “Listen, if somebody doesn’t help and direct people, then do more people die? That’s all I’m going to say about that. I can’t say anymore. I need to talk to an attorney.”

At the time of the interview, Powell was considered a fugitive and was arrested two days later, on February 4, after local authorities received a tip about her whereabouts. 

Prosecutors said her decision to given an interview to The New Yorker rather than turn herself in showed a “disregard for the aims of law enforcement.”

In her interview with The New Yorker, Powell admitted that she didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, and had a hard time deciding whether to vote for Trump in the 2020 election.

She also noted that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had been one of her primary sources of information, despite his repeated baseless claims about election fraud.

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