Pro-Trump rioters reportedly attempted to storm the Georgia Capitol

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Rachel E. Greenspan
·3 min read
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This photo taken on Jan. 4, 2021 shows the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia. Wang Xiaoheng/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • Amid the DC riots, Trump supporters reportedly also gathered at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, according to reports and a staffer who works in the Capitol.

  • The staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Insider he and his team were told to work from home for the rest of the day on Wednesday. 

  • Stephen Fowler, a political reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting, said in a tweet that a small group of protesters had tried to enter the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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As pro-Trump rioters in Washington, DC, stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, Trump supporters also gathered at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, according to reports and a staffer who works in the Capitol. 

The attempted coup at the DC Capitol began on Wednesday after President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to protest the results of the election, as Congress met inside the Capitol building to certify them. 

Amy Gardner, a Washington Post political reporter, tweeted at around 2:15 pm on Wednesday that militant protesters had gathered outside of the Georgia Capitol building, and that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff were "escorted out to safety."

Insider could not immediately confirm whether the protesters were members of militia gangs, which have increasingly appeared at pro-Trump rallies. Members of the far-right militant group the Proud Boys were reportedly present at the DC riot, after the group's leader was arrested in DC on firearms charges Tuesday evening. 

Stephen Fowler, a political reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting, said in a tweet that a small group of protesters had tried to enter Raffensperger's office to "deliver 'grievances,'" and that the removal of the secretary of state and his staff had been a precaution. 

Gabriel Sterling, an official in the Secretary of State's office, confirmed to The Associated Press that Raffensperger's team had decided to leave the building. "We saw stuff happening at the Georgia Capitol and said we should not be around here, we should not be a spark," he said, according to The Associated Press.

A source who works in the Capitol building and spoke to Insider on the condition of anonymity said that he was told to work from home for the rest of the day at around 2 pm local time after he returned from lunch to find that Raffensperger was no longer in the building. The staffer said that he noticed between 100 and 200 Trump supporters waving American flags across from the Capitol building, but that at the time, he believed the protesters to be peaceful. 

capitol seige senate chamber takeover standoff
Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The staffer said that when he left the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, the scene was much more peaceful than what he heard was going on in DC. He added that when leaving the Capitol, staffers were not given security instructions. The staffer added that he hoped to be able to eventually take a nap. 

Raffensperger has been accompanied by a security escort in the weeks since he and his wife have been hit with death threats as President-elect Joe Biden's win in Georgia has been questioned by Trump and his supporters. In an hour-long phone call with Raffensperger on Saturday, which was first reported by The Washington Post, Trump urged Raffensperger, whose office oversees elections, to "find 11,780 votes" to push the election in his favor. 

Update: This article has been updated with confirmation from the Secretary of State's office. 

Read the original article on Insider