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The ‘Colbert 9’ were cleared of ‘illegal entry’ charges on Monday after ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ staffers were caught recording comedy sketches inside a office building after hours without permission in June.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office read: “After a full review of all evidence and relevant legal authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has determined that it cannot proceed with misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against the nine individuals who were arrested on June 16, 2022 at the Longworth Office Building. The individuals, who entered the building twice, were asked by congressional staffers to enter in the building each time and were never asked to leave by the staff members who invited However, the band members had been told at various times by United States Capitol police that they were supposed to have an escort. The Bureau would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these guests were guilty of the crime of unlawful entry because their escort chose to leave them unattended. We do not c We do not think it is likely that the Bureau would be able to obtain and maintain convictions on t these costs. The defendants will no longer be required to appear for a scheduled hearing in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on July 20, 2022.”
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) released a statement saying it “respects the decision made by this office” and referred any questions regarding the decision to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Fox News learns that Capitol Police are upset with the decision to drop the charges, especially since the Colbert 9s have been repeatedly told they weren’t supposed to be there. Sources close to Capitol Police also told Fox it undermined law enforcement as they attempted to secure the Capitol complex following the riot.
US CAPITOL POLICE ARREST STEPHEN COLBERT STAFF AT OFFICE BUILDING, CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL ENTRY
In June, a group of nine CBS “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” staffers were arrested after illegally entering a U.S. House of Representatives building. Among those arrested were Robert Smigel, the puppeteer of “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog”, a character on Colbert’s show, as well as writer Josh Comers, associate producer Allison Martinez and lead producer Jake Plunkett.
Fox News has learned that the Colbert 9 tried to get permission to cover the Jan. 6 committee hearings, but was turned down by the House/Senate Radio TV galleries because they were considered entertainment and not like news.
Police say the staffers were charged with trespassing after they were found acting “disruptive, loud” and “theatrical” near the office of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., in the Longworth office building. House while recording comedy sketches. for the Late Show around 8:30 p.m. on June 16.
Earlier in the day, the group had conducted interviews with members of the Jan. 6 select committee, Reps. Adam Schiff, D-California, and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla, as well as Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass.
They were eventually escorted out of the Cannon House office building, where the January 6 committee was conducting their hearing, as they did not have proper press credentials. Sources tell Fox News that an Auchincloss aide let them back into the House office buildings around 4:00 p.m. and they were left unattended for several hours.
TWITTER RESPONDS TO CAPITOL COLBERT STAFF ARRESTS: ‘INSURRECTION’
Colbert himself played down the arrests on his show the following Monday as a “very professional” interaction between his staff and “cautious” Capitol Police officers and jokingly called the incident “first-degree puppets.”
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Republican lawmakers also requested information on Monday about how Colbert’s crew gained access inside the building despite the lack of press credentials. Despite the arrests, a CBS spokesperson at the time told Fox News that “the Capitol Hill interviews were authorized and pre-arranged by congressional aides of the members being interviewed.”
Fox News’ Paul Best, Alexa Moutevelis, Lawrence Richard and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.