A woman seen taking a leading role in the D.C. insurrection has been charged. Pennsylvania woman Rachel Marie Powell was arrested Thursday, according to the Department of Justice.
Viral video of the Jan. 6 riot shows a woman identified as her directing other rioters with a bullhorn and giving them information about the Capitol layout. She was also identified as being one of the people using a large pipe as an impromptu battering ram.
What kind of defense could she put up? She has said on the record that she was at the Capitol Building that day. Her statements were anything but an outright denial of wrongdoing.
“That’s one of those things I can neither confirm nor deny,” she told The New Yorker in a Tuesday report, regarding the battering ram. “I just need to talk to an attorney. If you look at that video, people are just going to make their own assumptions.”
Here’s how the article paraphrased her unwillingness to discuss specific actions:
During the interview, she reviewed photographs and videos of the Bullhorn Lady, acknowledging that many of the images showed her, and offered detailed descriptions of the skirmishes they depicted. She declined to comment on some of her conduct—including smashing windows and shouting orders to fellow-rioters—that could carry criminal charges.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, of course, cited the article in the affidavit. Powell’s statements indicate that she, like many if not all of the rioters, were true believers of then-President Donald Trump’s lies that he won the 2020 presidential election, and that it was being stolen from him.
“Listen, if somebody doesn’t help and direct people, then do more people die?” she said. “That’s all I’m going to say about that. I can’t say anymore. I need to talk to an attorney.”
Five people died amid the chaos: four Trump supporters, and one Capitol officer. Another Capitol officer, a Metropolitan Police officer, and a man charged for his actions on Jan. 6 died by suicide in the ensuing days.
Powell faces charges including obstructing an official proceeding; depredation of government property; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
[Images via FBI]
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