The Late Show with the Capitol Police: Crew of Comedian Stephen Colbert Arrested in Capitol

Last night, Fox News broke the story that the U.S. Capitol Police arrested a group of staffers with CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and charged them with unlawful entry. The crew was reportedly shooting a skit dealing with Jan. 6th but ended up with the same charge that has been levied against the vast majority of those arrested after the riot. Fox is reporting that the crew was told to leave but regained entry through a staff member of Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D., Mass). They also interviewed House Intelligence Chair and Jan. 6th Committee member Adam Schiff (D., Cal.). The arrests could put Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an awkward position.

The police confirmed that a group of seven people were arrested. The group reportedly included Robert Smigel, 62, who is best known as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and is a frequent guest on Colbert’s CBS show.  Others listed are Jake Plunkett, Allison Martinez, Tyrone Dean, Stephen Romond, Nicoletta Green, Brendan Hurley, Josh Comers and David Feldman. Plunkett is a senior producer and director on the show.

The crew reportedly gained entry earlier to interview Schiff, Auchincloss, and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.).  Later, the Capitol police found them in the halls and they were told that they had to leave. According to Fox, they later regained entry through an aide to Auchincloss, though it is not clear if the representative knew about it or if the aide was mistaken on their purposes. However, they were later spotted filming outside of the offices of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

As I noted when this story was breaking last night, unlawful entry was the most likely charge because it can apply to remaining in the Capitol even if you were initially granted access for a legitimate purpose. Under 18 U.S.C. 1752, anyone can be arrested who “knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so.”

Since the crew was presumably not armed, the lesser potential penalty would apply of up to a year in jail. Jail time would seem highly unlikely though the Biden Administration has held those arrested for the Jan. 6th riot for long periods and sought maximum sentences. Again, the obvious difference in the underlying context justifies the release of the crew.  However, since they were arrested in the evening, it would have been common to have been held over night. It is not clear if that was the case from the initial accounts.

This is obviously not a major breach of security and not the equivalent to the Jan. 6th riot which caused extensive damage and interrupted our constitutional process in the transition of power. However, it also highlights how the vast majority of those arrests were not charged with insurrection or even seditious conspiracy but the same charge of unlawful entry or trespass.

If the crew thought it better to ask forgiveness rather than permission in remaining, it was a uniquely poor decision given the security rules after Jan. 6th. This could put some of these members in an awkward position. It is difficult to downplay such security breaches after the January riot. Indeed, Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly attacked Republicans for not taking the new security precautions seriously and imposing hefty fines for failures to comply, including evading metal detectors. She has denounced Republicans for “refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe.”

It may be hard to spin these arrests or seek the dropping of the charges in light of statements of the Speaker, though she was also accused of evading the new precautions.

Ironically, Auchincloss has spoken about how important Capitol security is and how Jan. 6th showed that “people get through you, they get behind you and then the whole line breaks.”

Here is the statement issued by the police:

“On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building.  Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway.  The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day. They were charged with Unlawful Entry.  This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

It is not clear what the additional charges might entail or whether there are others who might be charged.

Recently, Colbert joked how he was thrilled to be mentioned in the Jan. 6th hearings. Within 24 hours of the arrest of his crew, Colbert declared “come and get me” to the “neo numbnuts” charged in these cases. He said it was thrilling to “feel so seen” in such moments.

 

91 thoughts on “The Late Show with the Capitol Police: Crew of Comedian Stephen Colbert Arrested in Capitol”

  1. I doubt they were being waved in by Capitol police holding doors open like we saw on Jan. 6th video. Clearly they were doing scouting for the Jane’s Revenge domestic terrorist group. What did Colbert know and when did he know it? The FBI needs some pre-dawn no-knock raids, handcuffs, leg irons, seizure of computers and a tip to FoxNews to cover it all.

  2. Worse than Watergate! Arrested while breaking into Congressional offices in the nation’s Capitol!

  3. Dear lord in heaven, how close did The Colbert Insurrection come to over throwing our democracy, and installing Steven Colbert as El Presidente, and dictator for life??
    There needs to be a bipartisan (cough) committee to take a year and a half to investigate!
    Who let them in after hours? Who was involved? Who knew and when?
    Was this a recon mission for a large scale assault on the Capitol by rabid Colbertists supporters?
    Or a plot to kidnap Congress members Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Lauren Boebert?
    Unconfirmed sources say AOC was initially hysterical, fearing for her life even though she was not present or even in the area at the time. Once she learned it was The Colbert Insurrection, supposedly she said, “Oh . . . that’s fine.” and returned to her Instagram account.
    (Note: The above was sarcasm and satire. If you did not pick up on that, you need to buy yourself a sense of humor)

  4. “CBS had clearance their interviews at the capital were authorized and pre-arranged through congressional aides of members interviewed” Statement by CBS……….

    1. The Colbert 7 had to leave and returned knowing they didn’t belong there. Their charges are the same against the bulk of Jan6, so miserably treated. The only difference is that once escorted out, the Colbert 7 returned.

      1. How much of this act of “insurrection” (ahem) will be covered by the MSM I warrant that it will be zilch.

    2. Then they were told to leave, and reentered…”The group of seven people were arrested in the Longworth House Office Building after being escorted out of the Jan. 6 committee hearing earlier in the day because they did not have proper press credentials, according to sources. At some point, they were let back in to the Longworth House Office Building sometime after 4 p.m. by an aide to Auchincloss and were unattended for several hours. Sources tell Fox News that the aide believed the group had more interviews to do.” https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-capitol-police-arrest-stephen-colbert-staffers-house-office-building-charged-illegal-entry

  5. Will there be equal protection under the law for the Colbert 7, and will they face the same penalty faced by the Jan6 people others who acted identically?

    Maybe the courts need to see that the rule of law is applied equally.

    1. Maybe the DC courts will see that the rule of law is applied equally.

      HAHAHA. It won’t. The Rule of Law is dead. Democrats killed it.

  6. Colbert is an elitist, useful idiot Democrat propagandist mouthpiece on Schumer and Pelosi’s speed dial, just like Kimmel. He is not funny; he is smug. His monologue and his show promotes only the Democrat agenda while mocking Republicans and flyover deplorables. His show is not humor nor is it entertainment. Watch his skit with the dancing vaccine needles to know what a useful idiot Colbert actually is.

    1. There’s a reason some people go into media and academia. They want to live in a world of theory and make-believe where reality never interrupts their conceits. Colbert is a perfect example of the narcissistic, detached, lefty snob.

        1. I said “some people” on purpose, Ms. Colbert. I was talking mainly about bedwetters like you.

  7. Colbert needs to be interviewed since he employs and/or directs the Colbert 7. Obviously a conspiracy. And of course the 2 democratic congressman’s office staff should be charged with aiding and abetting an illegal act. Using Professor Tribe’s interpretation of cause and effect and due process, they are obviously guilty and no trial necessary. A year in the stocks in front of the capitol seems appropriate. The can have a fair trial after the sentence is carried out.
    Better carefully check the floor and/or carpet in the House. the Insult Dog may have made an unplanned deposit, what with the stress of the arrest and all.

  8. Unless the comedians were trying to assassinate the VP and install an unelected President in the first attempted coup in US history, the is a very different situation.

    1. I agree. Any January 6th defendants charged with trying to assassinate the VP and attempting to physically install someone other the winner of the election as President should be prosecuted and have their day in court in accordance with due process. Challenging the results of the election, of course, is not illegal. Two Democrat representatives of the January 6th committee had done so themselves in past elections – It wasn’t illegal when they did it and was not illegal when done by elected representatives in 2020.

      Those January 6th participants NOT charged with ANY violence but simply trespassing, “parading” or something similar are accused of doing the same thing that Colberts crew was accused of doing and both groups should be treated in the same fashion. Someone who in the wrong hallway either by design or by intent, is not guilty of murder simply because someone else also in the hallway killed someone else. It is not automatic.

      BTW, if you have studied US history, it really isn’t the first “attempted coup”. We have been a country for nearly 250 years – a lot of things have been tried in that time.

      1. Rose Ann, thank you for making the distinctions that Sammy failed to. Nuance matters here.

  9. Selective charges and prosecution.

    A good time to mention, Biden is going after the Mounted Border Patrol agents cleared of misdeeds. He has directed DHS to find administrative violations the Agents can be punished for.
    Biden knows who the men are. Now he is just looking for something to use as an excuse to punish them

  10. Since the crew was presumably not armed,

    Jan 6 prosecutions have informed me, anything can be fashioned into a weapon.

    1. Not anything, and for those that can be, the weapons violation can only be charged when they’re actually used as weapons.

  11. Will this be another example of a two-tiered justice system?
    What is that? Associated with a rich celebrity, and known Dem supporter? You are free to go!

  12. Lefties have a problem.

    Do they give the Colbert 7 equal justice to that given 1/6 rioters, or do they reaffirm that Washington has two kinds of justice?

    Lefties will be lefties, and I suspect that Americans will see another example of a two tier justice system.

  13. Its called Precedent.

    Charges will be minor misdemeanors.

    Project Veritas is packing their van as we speak. This should be good

    1. Jeff, a little off topic here but many here do that often. Including yourself.
      As an msnbc fan, just want to know if you agree with Chris Hayes’ recent statement pertaining to children ( pre- teen) attending drag shows. To keep them away would be ” Extreme, disgusting and VIOLENT”.
      Also keeping with the media topic, just remember that I said about a month ago that Stelter would be history shortly. I give it about another month.
      And another prediction, current Press Secretary whose only apparent qualifications are that she checks the correct boxes, competence not being one of them, will be gone at the latest after the mid- terms. Kirby waiting in the wings.

      1. Paul,

        I briefly saw that coverage at the tail end of Hayes’ show, but I did not watch it cuz I don’t have any young kids and that topic does not interest me. I don’t know enough about the controversy to render an opinion, but as a general rule I trust Hayes’ judgment over Trumpists.

        I googled “Stelter” and saw the Fox News stories bashing Stelter’s low ratings. I presume you got your idea here. I’m not willing to bet against you if that is your idea! Fox likes to trash those that hold it accountable for its lying. Stelter is at the top of the list. Hannity calls him insulting names because he likes to hit below the belt. It’s the same mentality as those who like W.W.E.

        I don’t bother watching the press Secretary to the president. I could not care less who is doing that spin job.

        1. OK Jeff, I am going to assume that you trust me that the quote was accurate. The fact that you didn’t see it or research the topic is irrelevant. All here constantly answer questions about quotations or positions without being ” experts” in the fields in question .And those without children like yourself consistently chime in about Roe A subject that at minimum deals with potential children. And some are men who cannot have abortions. Oh wait, I guess in the eyes of some ” on your side” they can.
          So I ask you again, even though you are not an ” expert” nor have children, do you agree with the quote?

          On Stelter, no I did not get my info from Fox. Neilson ratings can be ” googled”:
          And the reason that Stelter will be ousted is of course because of low ratings. And he is a hack. For a guy whose job is to report on the media he sure ignores some of the biggest media stories around. Some examples are:
          Not mentioning the judge banning msnbc from the Rittenhouse trial.

          Not covering John Weaver being forced to leave the Lincoln Project because of sexually harassing children on line.

          Failing to give a minute of time to Rolling Stone and msnbc false story about emergency patients being turned away from an Oklahoma hospital because they were ” overrun” with Ivermectin using patients.

          No mention of USA Today having to retract it’s ” fact check” that Biden DID NOT check his watch during the dignified transfer at Dover AFB.

          Miraculously omitting the story about cnn producer John Weaver being arrested for ” attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activities”.
          Just to name a few.

          Seems like the guy whose job is to ” hold the media accountable” has a few blind spots. Those being anything that does not involve Fox. What a true professional.

          I do agree that the job of a Press Secretary is to put a positive spin on everything. And this may surprise you. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Psaki. In her former role. Nobody could defend the indefensible better. And I give her credit . She ditched the ” I will circle back” response quickly after being mocked for using it repeatedly.
          If you took away the binder from this one, she could not tell you what year it was.

          I have a few restaurants picked out.

          1. Paul,

            I trust that your recitation of the quote is accurate, but I would need to know specifically what Hayes’ was referring to as “Extreme, disgusting and VIOLENT.” I watch Hayes’ every day, and I rarely, if ever, disagree with his views. Does not that suffice?

            You actually Google Stelter’s Nielsen ratings? Jeez! I guess you like to know the odds before you make a hunch! Whatever is his future, I disagree with your view that he is a hack. I watch him. His show is not unlike a Rorschach test. How is it that we see things so differently? My guess is that our differences are as immutable as the color of our eyes. The fact that he did not cover a news story is not a criticism of a show whose purpose is to cover the media’s coverage of stories. I was aware of the Weaver story. I’m not aware of the Rolling Stone story.

            You may have a point that he is ignoring certain stories, but his show is only 1 hour per week. Given that limitation, it’s reasonable that he covers only the media’s opposing takes on *headline stories.* Your complaint should be directed at the daily MSNBC or CNN News programs.

            I only see what is said by the Press Secretary when it is reported on the nightly news or ridiculed on Fox Primetime. Obviously, here too we will not agree. I concede that Democratic press secretaries spin the truth; however, they do not report “alternative facts” like Republican press secretaries!

            1. Jeff, I stated EXACTLY what Hayes was referring to. Drag shows that have pre- teens in attendance. And how that any effort to keep children from attending was ” Extreme, disgusting and Violent.”. Nothing vague here. Ok let’s make this much easier. DO YOU think it is appropriate for pre- teens to attend drag shows?
              I am going to assume you know what a pre-teen is. And that you also know what a drag show is.

              Don’t know what Stelter’s show has to do with ink blots. Will be inconsequential soon anyway. He is history. Yes, I always like to know the odds before making a prediction. A basic tenet of gambling.

              And your ” alternative facts” analogy is erroneous. Not by a press secretary. It was by an advisor. Conway. If you are going to ridicule, it helps to quote the person who actually made the statement.
              Thanks again for the respectful dialogue.

              1. Paul,

                I will try to find this interview on YouTube to examine the full context. I find it hard to believe that keeping kids from seeing a drag queen constitutes “violence.” Probably Hayes’ comments were referring to some comment by those opposed to showing kids drag queens. Was this a one-off event or a policy in some state school system? Are you concerned that these kids will be indoctrinated into that lifestyle?

                I’m kinda surprised that you are so pre-occupied with the viability of Stelter’s show. Do you watch it regularly as I do? Do you watch the Howie’d similar show on Fox? I used to, but I stopped because I found it as biased as you do Stelter. Sadly, our opinions have become solidified. How we grew so far apart is a function of our different socialization, different religion, and different viewing habits.

                As to alternative facts, I was thinking about Trump’s first press Secretary who brazenly and falsely claimed that Trump had the largest crowd for an inauguration EVER!

                1. Thanks Jeff,
                  I think exposing children to sexualization of ANY kind is terrible. Pornographic images portrayed to children are harmful. But you use a term that I would use. INDOCTRINATED.
                  As for Stelter, I usually DVR it. Try to watch as much as I can stomach. But it is basically a rerun every week. Which I am sure plays right into your wheelhouse.
                  Fox, Fox, Fox, Fox. Which would be ok if he just occasionally critiqued NYT. WaPo, msnbc or heaven forbid, cnn. I purposely left out of my examples his most egregious offense. Ignoring Toobin’s ” indiscretion.”
                  I actually watch more cnn than Fox now. Not prime time. I like Tapper. Need to see the other side. But like I said , watching Stelter will be moot soon.
                  Ok on the alternative facts. But that particular quote was Conway’s.
                  That stupid claim about the inauguration crowd set the stage for more ridiculousness.

                  1. Paul,

                    I am no a child psychologist or a teacher of young children. I defer to their expertise. I just don’t know enough about the matter. I try not to express an opinion and pretend to know more than I do. I suppose parents can challenge exposing their kids to drag queens in front of the school board. Or find a different school to send their kids.

                    I can hardly stomach Carlson, Hannity or Ingraham, but I force myself in order to scan their programs to see if Turley makes an appearance which is becoming less often it seems. I suspect he can decline an appearance on a program if he cannot in good conscience support the host’s particular false narrative.

                    I DO ACCEPT ALL of Turley’s critique of the MSM. We clear now?

                    I DON’T accept his refusing to criticize Fox and Newsmax. That is an undeniable fact. You don’t deny that do you? If only Turley would take a question, we could hold him accountable for his hypocrisy.

                    I like Tapper too. I watch him daily. I’m surprised that we agree on him since he is a NeverTrumper. Except for him, I don’t watch CNN so I am unfamiliar with Toobin but I know who he is.

                    As for Stelter, it would be a shame to see him go, but I won’t bet against you.

                    1. Jeff,
                      I never said that you don’t accept Turley’s critique of the MSM. Nothing to clear up. I don’t deny that his criticisms are selective. Not going down the ” you don’t bite the hand that feeds you” trail again. Unlike Stelter, Turley’s main role is as a legal analyst. Not a media critic. A BIG distinction.
                      As far as the kids, you don’t need to be a mechanic to know that when your car doesn’t start there is a problem. Most likely the battery or alternator.
                      You don’t need to be an electrician to know that when all of your lights go out it is probably a fuse or circuit breaker.
                      You don’t need to be a child psychologist to form an OPINION on whether drag shows are appropriate for children. So, you are not testifying as an expert.
                      WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?

                      As far as Tapper, you have admitted that I am not a Trumpist. Not sure what it takes to qualify as a NeverTrumper. If not wanting him to run again qualifies, I am all in. Also, I am not a single- issue voter or viewer. Unless you are a complete idiot like Reid, I give you a listen.

                      You are not aware of the ZOOM call where Toobin was caught ” pleasuring” himself? If you watch Fox as much as you say you do, you had to have seen the reports.

                      One more Stelter has ZERO credibility story. He was basically on his knees ( not out of reverence if you catch my drift) while interviewing disgraced P.O.S
                      Michael Avenatti. Was actually promoting him for President.

                    2. Paul,

                      I really don’t want to weigh in on the drag queen thing without more info. It does strike me as kinda young, but I would like to hear the arguments on both sides. What exactly is the point of it at that age? You’re not suggesting pedophilia like some Q-Anon freak, are you?

                      Yeah, I heard about the Zoom call. What of it? You don’t hear me bringing up the fact that Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, etc we’re fired from Fox for being sexual harassers? But I will if you force me!

                      I don’t recall Stelter’s interviewing Avenatti. I think you must be exaggerating Stelter’s reverence. Be that as it may, if anyone should feel sheepish about this criminal, it should be his law professor Turley:

                      https://jonathanturley.org/2018/12/03/the-case-for-michael-avenatti/

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