Just about a month after actively participating in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, Rachel Powell had a video detention hearing in the Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, February 9th. Easy to spot during the riot with her distinctive pink knit hat and black jacket with fur lined hoodie, Powell became known on social media as the ‘Pink Hat Lady’ or ‘Bullhorn Lady.’ Following the hearing, Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan ordered the conditional release of the 40-year-old mother of eight, pending a stay granted to the federal prosecutor until 5:00 on Wednesday afternoon.
Jessica Lieber Smolar, attorney for the United States, indicated that an indictment has not yet been handed down on the case of USA v Rachel Powell, but the charges against Powell of obstruction, depredation of government property, restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon, and violent entry or disorderly conduct, come with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
FBI Special Agent Carlos Fontanez testified to ample evidence of Powell’s actions that day. In one video, she can be seen working in concert with another rioter to use a large pipe as a battering ram to smash one of the windows of the Capitol Building, one that was eventually breached.
In another video, she uses her bullhorn to instruct other insurrectionists that, “People should probably coordinate together if you’re going to take this building,” and “We got to break another window to make in and out easy.” There are also photographs and videos of her inside the building.