Emily Grace Rainey, a former U.S. Army psychological operations officer who led a group to a rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, said deputies questioned her about mass power outages in North Carolina after she posted on social media that she knew why they occurred.
More than 33,000 customers remained without power in Moore County early Monday, according to Duke Energy, after authorities said two power substations were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act.
The outages began at around 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said. Officials announced a state of emergency including a curfew from 9 p.m. on Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday.
At a news conference on Sunday, Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the attack “was targeted,” but that authorities have not determined a motive. The FBI and state investigators have joined the inquiry, Fields said.
On Facebook, Rainey said deputies had questioned her after she claimed to know why the power was out amid posts protesting a drag show.
Deputies had “checked in” and “wasted their time,” she wrote on Sunday.
“I told them that God works in mysterious ways and is responsible for the outage. I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters,” she wrote.
“God is chastising Moore County. I thanked them for coming and wished them a good night.”
In another post, she said that “because of lukewarm Christians and public displays of blasphemy and immorality in Moore County many innocent people are suffering.”
Rainey had earlier written a Facebook post: “The power is out in Moore County and I know why.”
She then posted a picture of the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines where the drag show was scheduled to take place, writing that God “will not be mocked.” Newsweek has contacted Rainey for comment.
Organizers of the show, called “Downtown Divas,” had ramped up security in response to threats of violence from far-right activists, The Fayetteville Observer reported on Friday.
At the Sunday night news conference, Fields said Rainey’s posts were “false.”
“We had to go and interview this young lady and have a word of prayer with her… but it turned out to be nothing,” he said.
Asked if the attack on the substations had any connection to the drag show, Fields said: “Is it possible? Yes. Anything is possible, but we’ve not been able to tie anything back to the drag show.”
Rainey was investigated by commanders at Fort Bragg in 2021 after she led a group from North Carolina to a rally in Washington, D.C, on January 6, 2021, that culminated in supporters of former President Donald Trump storming the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot.
She had resigned her commission but was still on active duty at the time, CBS News had reported in January 2021.
She told the Associated Press that she led 100 members of Moore County Citizens for Freedom—which describes itself on Facebook as a “nonpartisan network dedicated to the promotion of conservative values”—to the rally to “stand against election fraud” and support Trump.
She said she didn’t know of anyone who entered the Capitol and that they were headed back to their buses hours before an emergency curfew took effect that day. “I was a private citizen and doing everything right and within my rights,” Rainey said.
In 2020, she was charged with injury to personal property after she posted a video online that showed her pulling down caution tape at a playground that was closed under North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Police in Southern Pines told WRAL-TV that they let her off with warnings twice before after she tore down the tape closing off the playground. The Army gave Rainey “appropriate administrative action” for that incident, and she later submitted her resignation.
Newsweek has contacted the Moore County Sheriff’s Office for further comment.
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