Mercer woman seeks evidence that police invited rioters into Capitol
The lawyer representing the Mercer County woman charged in the Capitol riot are looking for evidence that Capitol employees freely allowed protestors into the building during the January 6 disturbance.
As part of the discovery request seeking information on the prosecution’s case against Rachel Powell, the defense attorney has asked the U.S. Attorney to produce any evidence including the removal of barricades, opening doors, instructing protestors they could enter, or failure to intervene when protestors entered.
The request also covers any evidence as to whether any Capitol Police officers were suspended or disciplined for removing barriers or opening doors to the crowd.
Such evidence could be a factor in Powell’s attempt to challenge the government’s contention that the Sandy Lake mother of eight was the woman seen wearing a pink hat who allegedly used a bullhorn telling others how to gain control of the Capitol.
An affidavit accompanying allegations against Powell included a dozen images of the “pink hat lady” outside and inside the Capitol.
“Network news outlets aired footage of one or more Officers directing protestors towards doors and seemingly invited them to enter the building,” according to Powell’s lawyers who say the evidence is material for their client.
The request is being made under a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found prosecutors are obligated to reveal evidence that may be favorable to a defendant.
Powell, 40, faces multiple counts including obstruction, destruction of US property over $1,000, entering a restricted building or property with a dangerous weapon, entering a restricted building/property, and disorderly conduct.
The government’s case is based in part on video recorded during the riot and posted on social media and broadcast by the media.
Powell’s lawyers are also seeking unedited versions of those videos as they prepare her defense. She remains free on a personal recognizance bond.
More than 500 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol incursion.