U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth convicted Rachel Marie Powell on all nine counts in July. She was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering a restricted area with a weapon and engaging in violence on Capitol grounds.
Powell waived her right to a jury trial. She was nicknamed “bullhorn lady” for her use of a bullhorn directing others around the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Justice Department released a memo last week that said it would be seeking eight years in prison for Powell because of “her conduct on January 6, 2021, including her violent altercations with law enforcement at the West Plaza, her smashing of a window at the Lower West Terrace with an ice axe and a cardboard pole, her encouragement and instructions to other rioters on how to ‘take’ the U.S. Capitol, and for her utter lack of remorse.”
Powell was asking for three years of probation, WUSA9 reported. Lamberth imposed a sentence of 57 months in prison, followed by 36 months on supervised release and pay $2,753 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.
Powell posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, late Monday ahead of her sentencing.
“Pray for me,” her post said. “At 12:30 I’ll be sentenced. I’m trying to have hope but my heart is breaking right now.”
According to evidence, she was seen at the Capitol during the insurrection directing people on how to breach the building using a bullhorn. Prosecutors said Powell was seen with a mob of rioters that confronted police officers at bike rack barriers at the Capitol and used her back to push against the police.
According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Powell was wearing a pink hat and blue jacket with a fur lined hoodie and used “bullhorn to instruct others how to further gain control of the Capitol.”
She provided “very detailed instructions” of the layout of the Capitol to several others. If the group were to overtake the building they would need to “coordinate together,” video shows Powell saying.
More video and photo evidence showed Powell using a “large pipe as a ramming device” to breach the windows of the Capitol. She is overheard saying they “have another window to break.”
The FBI received an anonymous tip identifying Powell and contained a link to her Facebook account, where she posted in October 2020 that she agreed “with the possibility of civil war happening.” Law enforcement also found Powell’s cellphone linked to cell towers in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Powell reportedly left her kids at home to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally in 2021. She was arrested nearly a month after the riot after giving an interview to The New Yorker for an article titled “A Pennsylvania Mother’s Path to Insurrection.”
More than a thousand people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states in connection to the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol. Over 400 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.