Politics - News Analysis
Capitol Rioter Released on Bail, Judge Ordered Her to Wear Mask: So She Chose a Mesh One
We revisit the confluence of “good people” (pfft) who engaged in bad crimes on behalf of Donald Trump to “stop the steal,” perhaps the most dangerous lie in U.S. history and certainly will be if we lose our democracy over it.
It is stunning how many “good people” decided that they could storm the Capitol, some of them violently so, believing they could do it without consequences. It was perhaps the single greatest display of white entitlement ever shown over live television. Despite the fact that most were eventually arrested, we should never forget the pictures of them walking out the door, some taking pictures with Capitol Police, despite the fact that one officer lay dead and many others injured.
One of those people invading the Capitol that day was Rachel Powell. Powell is one of the ones who convinced a judge to release her as she awaited trial. But Powell’s judge seemed to have a sixth sense. Judge Howell conditioned Powell’s release upon her wearing a mask when out in public, which wouldn’t be a big deal to most of us who wouldn’t be caught “dead” out without a mask. But this proved to be an issue for Powell.
And just like when she stormed the Capitol, Powell seemed compelled to tempt fate on camera. From Crooks and Liars:
When Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell set conditions of release for accused Jan. 6 Capitol breach defendant Rachel Powell in February, she included an interesting provision in an order which required that Powell “must wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence.” Yet a video posted to a Pennsylvania bookstore’s Facebook page appears to show a woman who looks a lot like Powell inside the store wearing a mask made of mesh or netting which contains large gaps — thus rendering the mask utterly pointless as a protective measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus. If, indeed, the video does portray Powell, the mask could test the boundaries of Judge Howell’s order.
The video was posted to the Facebook page of Mr. Bookman’s, a used book store in Western Pennsylvania owned by Ben and Christy Wilkinson. At the start of the three-minute video, the woman who appears to be Powell points the camera at herself and says, “Good morning everybody, welcome to Mr. Bookman’s page.” She then flips the camera to focus on a woman wearing a white cardigan and a red “Make America Great Again” hat who prepares to announce the winners of a store raffle.
When setting Rachel Powell’s conditions of release, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said Powell “must wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence.”
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 9, 2021
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*Pro tip, never ever put a judge into a position where he or she believes you’re making a fool of him or her. If you do such a thing, you will feel the weight of the federal judiciary come pounding down on you. Judges have a ton of discretion (as they should). They can grant people leniency or hammer them. It sounds as those Powell got her favor and it looks as though she went out of her way to tempt fate and invite the judge to change his mind.
But then again, it takes a certain type to sack the Capitol in the first place.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak