U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) arrested seven members of a production team for the “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday evening. In a startling breach of security, they were uncredentialed and unaccompanied several hours after visitors exit.
In a statement released Friday night, police say they responded to a disturbance call in the Longworth House Office Building. Officials found seven individuals “unescorted and without Congressional ID in a sixth-floor hallway.”
Police report the building was closed to visitors and that those arrested had been told by USCP officers to exit the building earlier in the day. In a statement, authorities say “an active criminal investigation” is ongoing and further charges may be filed.
CBS confirmed the arrest of the production team . The network said Robert Smigel, the voice of “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews.”
The network said the interviews were “authorized and pre-arranged.” It further explained that after they were done the employees stayed to fill in other segments of the production.
That was when they were arrested and charged with unlawful entry. CBS, however, went with the nicer “detained” instead of the more realistic “arrested.”
The production crew was reportedly filming and taking pictures outside the offices of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). They were arrested near Boebert’s office, then booked and released overnight.
The arrests happened just hours after the Jan. 6 House Select Committee held its third day of public hearings into last year’s Capitol riot. The “Late Show” staffers reportedly applied for press badges for the hearings but were denied.
Colbert’s team conducted interviews earlier in the day with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), both members of the Jan. 6 Committee. Media accounts said they also interviewed Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA).
Capitol Police sent the group away from the Committee area and they left the office building. However, it is reported that an aide to Auchincloss allowed them back in after 4 p.m. and they were unaccounted for until police received the disturbance call.
It will be most interesting to follow the legal path these intruders are on, as well as the person or persons responsible for allowing illegal entry to the secure building.