Stephen Colbert's Staff Arrested at U.S. Capitol Complex for Unlawful Entry into House Building

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Posted: Jun 17, 2022 11:35 PM
Stephen Colbert's Staff Arrested at U.S. Capitol Complex for Unlawful Entry into House Building

Source: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

At least seven staffers who work for CBS News' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" were arrested after allegedly entering a U.S. House of Representatives building, specifically the Longworth House Building, where they were not legally permitted to be, according to Fox News. They had been escorted out from January 6 select committee hearing because they did not have the proper press credentials, which is investigating the actions of people who were also not where they were legally allowed to be.

Despite being escorted out, the seven people re-appeared that night after the Capitol complex was closed to the public. "The group was unescorted and charged with illegal entry to House office buildings after hours," the report notes. 

Fox News' Chad Pegram also has a lengthy thread explaining the details over Twitter, including a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police.

Pegram's tweets also mention there are actually nine people who have been arrested, citing "a senior House source."

Another report from Fox News has more on the alleged behavior of the individuals, explaining that they "reportedly banged on doors of several Republican offices –  including that of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Lauren Boebert of Colorado -- as they allegedly filmed a skit for Colbert's "Late Show" program that was to center around the January 6 hearings."

The individuals were arrested near Rep. Boebert's office. 

That same report mentioned demands from Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) for answers once Congress returns next week:

Lawmakers will demand answers on the arrest of several employees of late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert at the Capitol Thursday when Congress resumes next week, a leading Republican told Fox News.

Days after Democrats on the House January 6 Committee called on Rep. Barry Loudermilk's, R-Ga, to answer questions about a tour he gave the day before the Capitol riot, several people, including CBS employees who work Colbert's late-night program were arrested for unlawful entry to the complex.

Late Thursday, the individuals, including "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog" puppeteer Robert Smigel – a frequent guest of Colbert's -- were not credentialed to be walking around without an escort, a House Republican source told Fox News. Others arrested included Colbert writer Josh Comers and associate producer Allison Martinez.

...

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill, the ranking member on the House Committee on Administration – which has jurisdiction over the Capitol Police and House chamber operations – told "Jesse Watters Primetime" Friday he will demand answers when Congress returns to session next week.

As if the situation doesn't raise enough eyebrows, the offices of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is a member of the select committee, and of Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) were reportedly involved in clearing the group into the complex. Such a connection is mentioned in the Fox News reports, and by Fox News' "Jesse Watters Primetime."

Jonathan Turley weighed in over Twitter, by explaining the legalities of the situation. 

Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" also addressed the allegations during Friday night's episode, calling it "almost beyond belief" and referring to it as an "insurrection."

Carlson also highlighted Rep. Schiff's role, noting the congressman "has spent the last year and a half telling you that unauthorized violations of Capitol space are a coup" and claiming he "illegally gave producers from CBS access to the Capitol," with "the point of them being there to harass sitting members of Congress."

Like Turley, Carlson compared the charges, noting that U.S. Capitol Police arrested these individuals being charged with unlawful entry into the Capitol complex is "the exact same charge many January 6 defendants face." The Fox News report mentioned additional charges could be filed as well. 

Carlson, making it clear this was "joking aside," also brought up the treatment that January 6 defendants are facing. "And actually, joking aside, how could they not be held for a year and a half in solitary confinement, without being charged," Carlson asked about these defendants arrested on Thursday night. He noted "the precedent is in place." 

"Colbert" has been trending over Twitter on Friday night, as is "Robert Smigel," and "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog," a character Smigel voices.