Colbert Leaves out Critical Info and Downplays Staff Being Busted at Capitol Complex

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

We reported on how staffers for the “Late Show” with Stephen Colbert were arrested and charged for being in an unauthorized area of the U.S. Capitol complex after they were thrown out trying to crash the Jan. 6 hearings earlier in the day, and how Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) were involved with the groups being in the building.


On his show on Monday, Colbert finally spoke about the arrests and tried to downplay the incident, joking that “some of my staff” had a “memorable” weekend. Colbert claimed that they had been shooting interviews for the show with members of Congress and had been invited in.

“After they’d finished their interviews, [my staffers] were doing some last-minute puppetry and jokey make-em-ups in a hallway, when Triumph and my folks were approached and detained by Capitol Police,” Colbert said. He claimed his people were “very professional.”

“The Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm,” the host continued. “My staffers were detained, processed, and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff.” He treated it as nothing. “A lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police, but a fairly simple story.”

Colbert claimed it was just “first-degree puppetry,” that it wasn’t in the Capitol building, and then he deflected from the actions of his people by trying to blame President Donald Trump for the riot on Jan. 6.

Except Colbert leaves out some rather critical facts, including that his group had been tossed out earlier, were there wandering the hallways unescorted after hours for hours when they weren’t supposed to be there, and that the Capitol police were called because they were causing a disturbance, including banging on the doors of the offices of Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). They were held and then charged with being in an unauthorized area, another fact that he left out when describing the situation to his audience.


“Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway,” the police said in a statement. “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.”

The Capitol Police said the individuals 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,” the USCP added.

They had originally been let in by Schiff and then let back in by an aide of Auchincloss after they had been told to leave by the police, according to reports.

Now, Democrats, including those on the Jan. 6 Committee, have been trying to rip apart Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) for giving a tour of the Capitol complex on Jan. 5 — not the Capitol — and suggesting it was a “reconnaissance tour” for the rioters. They’ve done this, despite the fact that the Capitol Police said that there was no relation to the riot, the group never went into the Capitol or the Capitol tunnels, and nothing was suspicious about the group. Meanwhile, no one in that group has been arrested, nor was that group let back in after-hours, nor did they illegally enter or cause a disturbance like the Colbert group.


Loudermilk let Schiff and the Committee have it.

“They’ve accused me of giving this family that came to my office for a meeting. We took them to lunch, [and] they’re accusing us of that being a reconnaissance tour,” he said Saturday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Nashville.

“Adam Schiff, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, illegally brought Stephen Colbert’s comedy team into the Capitol and left them unescorted at night, and they were arrested,” he said. “So while they’re accusing me of giving illegal tours of the Capitol, they are giving illegal tours of the Capitol.”

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley observed that Colbert didn’t make things easier for the defense in this case by his effort to downplay and joke about the incident.

It’s not generally a good idea to talk publicly about your case if you’re the defendant before it is concluded. In this case, however, who wants to bet that the charges go away? We’ve already seen this in another case involving Timothy Hysom, a top aide to Auchincloss and who also worked for Schiff, who was referred by the Capitol Police for prosecution for multiple incidents of allegedly defacing posters outside the offices of Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). But the DOJ declined to prosecute.


Props to the Capitol Police for doing the right thing in both the Colbert and Hysom case, but we’ll have to see if the Colbert folks are prosecuted by the DOJ. I wouldn’t bet money on it.


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