Local leaders condemn ‘insurrection’ as ‘terrorists’ storm U.S. Capitol in support of Trump

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms urged residents to stay at home tonight as she condemned the Jan. 6 chaos in Washington, D.C. after extremists supporting President Donald Trump assaulted the U.S. Capitol.

Bottoms, a Democrat, said in a written statement that she was not declaring a curfew for Jan. 6, but that “I ask all Atlantans, out of an abundance of caution, to please stay home this evening.”

The attack on the Capitol disrupted the counting of the Electoral College vote that will award the presidency to Joe Biden. Trump has challenged his loss with a variety of conspiracy theories about supposed fraud in Georgia and elsewhere and lost more than 60 lawsuits in an attempt to change the outcome of the election.

The U.S. Capitol attack came the day after a dramatic Georgia runoff election where Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff unseated two Republican incumbents in the state’s two U.S. Senate seats.

As the attack continued in Washington, a group of pro-Trump protesters gathered outside the Georgia Capitol, reportedly causing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — a major target of Trump’s wrath — and his staff members to leave the building as a safety precaution. The Georgia Department of Public Safety, which is responsible for government security, says there were no incidents reported there or at the Governor’s Mansion in Buckhead.

“Millions of Georgians cast their ballots yesterday because of their belief in our democracy,” Bottoms said. “While there are moments in our country’s history in which we may falter, we will not fail. America is stronger than any one man.”

Gov. Brian Kemp, who Trump has blamed for not pursuing baseless voter fraud claims,  called the storming of the U.S. Capitol a “disgrace” and “un-American.” He extended an executive order to deploy the National Guard as the Georgia General Assembly prepares to convene on Jan. 11.

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, whose 5th Congressional District includes Intown, also chairs the Democratic Party of Georgia. She condemned the attack and blamed Republicans.

“Armed domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power in our country. In America,” she wrote on Twitter. “Republicans contesting the election results are complicit in the violence you’ve watched on TV today.”

Gabriel Sterling, who managed the Nov. 3 presidential election for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, was reportedly among the officials who left the Georgia Capitol during non-violent protests there simultaneously with the U.S. Capitol assault, took to Twitter Jan. 6 to say his worst fears were realized.

“I said several weeks ago that the words and actions of the president were going to get someone shot, hurt or killed,” Sterling wrote. “Shots were just fired in the U.S. Capitol. Let that sink in for a moment.”

He also strongly condemned Republican lawmakers who were backing Trump’s challenge of the Electoral College vote-counting, saying they “are part of this attempted coup inspired by the president and they should resign. This is an insurrection.”

– Collin Kelley contributed to this report