Rachel Powell biography: 13 things about US Capitol riot suspect from Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania


Rachel Marie Powell is a white woman from Pennsylvania, United States. She was born in Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA.

Powell was raised in Fresno, California by her mother Deborah Lemons, who worked at a local shop, and her stepfather, who was a plumber. When Powell was a child, she and her stepfather were the victims of a carjacking.

According to Powell, she has a certification as a group fitness instructor and has taken a course in alternative medicine. Here are 13 more things about her:

Rachel Marie Powell (©FBI)
Rachel Marie Powell (©FBI)
  1. In 1996, she and her family moved to West Sunbury, Butler County, Pennsylvania to take care of a relative of her stepfather. After graduating from high school, she remained in Pennsylvania. (a)
  2. She is a mother of eight. She homeschooled all of her children. She gave birth to her first child in 1997. (a)
  3. In 2016, she gave birth to her eighth child. In the same year, she did not vote for Donald Trump but in November 2020, she voted for him. (a)
  4. In 2017, she separated from her husband. (a)
  5. She was against wearing masks during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On May 3, 2020, she wrote on Facebook, “One good thing about this whole CV crisis is that I suddenly feel very patriotic.” (a)
  6. On July 4, 2020, she attended the rally at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania where members of far-right groups gathered purportedly to protect Civil War monuments from desecration. Holding an iPhone with a Kate Spade Hollyhock Floral case, she was one of the 50 demonstrators who surrounded and aggressively questioned a man wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. In the same rally, she met Kevin Lynn, who founded a group advocating for the hiring of American workers in the U.S. technology industry. (a)
  7. In October 2020, she wrote on Facebook that a civil war might occur. She wrote, “Unfortunately, the only way this is probably capable of being fixed is bloodshed because I’m not so sure our government can be fixed the political way anymore, either.” (b)
  8. On November 11, 2020, she wrote in a message that she surveilled the home of an unknown public official and asked how she could confirm the home belonged to the official without going into a courthouse. (b)
  9. On January 5, 2021, she left her children alone in their house in Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania and met Lynn near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They drove to Washington, D.C., USA in his car. Wearing a pink hat and sunglasses while holding an iPhone with a Kate Spade Hollyhock Floral case, she went to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., USA on January 6, 2021. That day, Trump’s supporters breached the building while a joint session of Congress was certifying the vote of the Electoral College and affirming Joe Biden‘s victory in the 2020 presidential election. During the riot, she used a battering ram to smash a window and a bullhorn to issue orders. She was dubbed the Bullhorn Lady and the Pink Hat Lady. (a)
  10. On January 16, 2021, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had a bulletin that she was wanted. (b)
  11. She was 40 years old when FBI agents arrested her on February 4, 2021 near her home in Sandy Lake. Via Zoom, she appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia L. Dodge. She was held in Butler County Prison in Butler, Pennsylvania. For her participation in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, she was charged with obstruction of an official proceeding; destruction of government property; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building; disorderly conduct in a U.S. Capitol building; act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. (a)(c)(d)
  12. Represented by Michael Engle, she was released from prison on February 11, 2021. Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell decided that she would put on house arrest and required her to wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence. After her release, a video emerged showing her wearing a white mesh mask, a noncompliant mask in the bookstore in Pennsylvania where she works. On April 16, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth issued an order saying that his concerns went beyond the video and included her evasive response when a Pretrial Services officer contacted her to ask about her compliance with the mask order. (d)(e)
  13. On May 11, 2022, Engle withdrew as her attorney and was replaced by Nicholas D. Smith. On May 26, 2022, Smith filed a motion asking Lamberth to relax his order that she confined to home detention because it interferes with her work schedule and her ability to raise her children. (b)

(This is a developing story. More details are being added.)


If you have information about someone who participated in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, call 1-800-CALL-FBI. You may also submit relevant photos and videos to the FBI.


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