In The Know

Capitol rioter’s attorney defends mesh mask as inspired by Lana Del Rey

A woman who allegedly stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 says she was inspired to wear a mesh mask — possibly in violation of a court order requiring her to wear a face mask while awaiting trial — by singer Lana Del Rey.

In a Monday filing with the U.S. District Court, Rachel Powell’s attorney said his client had “seen stories about a singer, Lana Del Rey, who fashioned a clear plastic barrier under a see-through fabric for a public book signing event.”

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said that Powell had to explain why she was seen on video and in a still image sporting a mesh mask, a move he said mocked an earlier ruling requiring her to “wear a mask whenever she leaves her residence.”

Powell — who faces a number of charges related to her alleged participation in the Capitol riot that unsuccessfully sought to halt Congress’s certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory — has reportedly been a vocal opponent of mask-wearing.

Powell’s attorney said while wearing the mesh mask was “clearly unwise,” the “creation and use of the mask at issue was not designed to mock the court or its release condition.” A photo of both Powell’s mask, and the one Del Rey wore, was included in the filing.

Powell, according to the filing, made a “poor choice in wearing the mask at issue, however it was not done with a bad intent.”

She’s “committed to wearing only masks that are clearly and obviously compliant, such as the masks described by members of her community who have interacted with her at work and at religious services,” her attorney said.

Lamberth reportedly said in a Tuesday ruling that he was satisfied with Powell’s response, writing that he had “no reason to believe that her apology is not genuine and that she will not continue to comply with her conditions of pre-trial release.”

The Pennsylvania woman, who’s been dubbed the “bullhorn lady” in media reports, is charged with obstruction of Congress, engaging in violence with an ice axe and wooden pole while in the Capitol and felony destruction of government property.

“Summertime Sadness” singer Del Rey ignited controversy last year after being photographed in her own mesh mask, with critics saying the covering offered no protection against the coronavirus. The 35-year-old performer later pushed back at her detractors, saying the mask “had plastic on the inside.”

“They’re commonly sewn in by stylists these days,” Del Rey tweeted.


—Updated Tuesday at 3:44 p.m.

Tags bullhorn lady Capitol breach Capitol riot Coronavirus Joe Biden Lana Del Rey mask mandates Rachel Powell
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