Pa. ‘bullhorn lady’ gets more than 4 years in prison for role in Capitol Riot
A Mercer County woman nicknamed “bullhorn lady” because she shouted directions to rioters during the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced to more than four years in prison Tuesday.
43-year-old Rachel Marie Powell of Grove City was convicted in July on nine felony charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering a restricted area with a weapon, and engaging in violence on Capitol grounds.
Video evidence presented during Powell’s trial showed her smashing windows with an ice pick, entering the Capitol building, and using a bullhorn to give detailed directions to other rioters about the layout of the Capitol.
Last week, the Justice Department recommended Powell receive an eight-year prison sentence. Powell’s defense asked for 3 years probation.
In an interview on Monday ahead of her sentencing, Powell appeared on Steve Bannon’s online talk show to explain her actions.
“I was on the violent side of the building; I was on the west side. I was obviously irrational. I did break a window. I’ve never hid that. I’ve always been open about it. But, you know, we aren’t insurrectionists. We didn’t go there with a plan,” Powell said.
Powell disagreed with the federal prosecutor’s characterization that she and others convicted of January 6th-related crimes planned to stop the peaceful transfer of power and keep Donald Trump in office — despite losing the 2020 Election.
“I did go in the building and the one through a window. But I didn’t go deep into the building. I didn’t go into the Senate floor. I didn’t go into anybody’s offices.” Powell said. “I don’t understand why they’re asking for as much as they are. It doesn’t make any sense to me because it was a mistake.”
Prosecutors cited her violent conduct during the insurrection as justification for the sentence — including confrontations with police at the West Plaza, using weapons to smash a window, encouraging and instructing others on breaching the Capitol, and showing ‘no remorse’ for her actions.
Powell is one of 93 Pennsylvanians who have been charged for their involvement in the Capitol attack to try to keep former president Donald Trump in power, even though he lost the 2020 election. That number is tied with Texas for second most in the country — behind only Florida.
Over 1,100 rioters nationwide have been charged for their roles in the attack.