A Capitol rioter is facing possible jail time as a judge is asking her to explain a possible violation of an order to wear a mask while she awaits trial, Politico reports.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth is demanding that Rachel Powell, explain why a video of her circulating online shows her wearing a porous, mesh mask despite another judge’s order to comply with Covid mask requirements while she awaits trial.
The judge says Powell’s mesh mask “mocks” a requirement from the court’s chief judge, Beryl Howell, that was issued after Powell was released in February. “Defendant must wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence,” Howell ruled at the time.
Lamberth said the video appeared to reflect intentional defiance of the court. “The court does not take the defendant’s willingness to flout the court’s order lightly,” he wrote, according to Politico.
Powell’s attorney, Michael Engle is also in trouble with the judge after she told a Pretrial Services officer that she threw her mask away because her lawyer told her to. “Defense counsel shall include an explanation of his alleged instruction to his client to dispose of evidence of her non-compliance with a court ordered condition of her release,” Lamberth wrote.
Powell’s attorney said in a statement to Politico that the description of his role in the incident is incorrect.
“I have to review the matter with my client and file a response with the Court. However, I can state with absolute certainty that the characterization of any legal advice I may have provided to my client is not accurate,” Engle said in an email.