Colbert staffers arrested for unlawful entry at Capitol won’t be charged

Staffers with CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” who were arrested in the Capitol last month won’t face charges, The Hill reported.

The staffers had originally been charged with unlawful entry by Capitol Police.

However, in a statement Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that while the staffers had been told they needed to have an escort by Capitol Police, they had never officially been told to leave.

In addition, they had initially been invited into the building by congressional staffers.

“After a comprehensive review of all of the evidence and the relevant legal authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has determined that it cannot move forward with misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against the nine individuals who were arrested on June 16, 2022 at the Longworth Office Building,” the office said in a statement.

“The Office would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these invited guests were guilty of the crime of unlawful entry because their escort chose to leave them unattended,” the statement said.

“We do not believe it is probable that the Office would be able to obtain and sustain convictions on these charges.”

Nine staffers — including Robert Smigel, best known as the puppeteer behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog — were arrested on June 16 “for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building,” a statement from the Capitol Police read.

“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,” the statement continued.

“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.”

Colbert joked on his show that the charges were “hijinks with intent to goof” and “first degree puppetry,” given that Smigel was there to conduct interviews as his character Triumph.

However, a congressional source told the Washington Examiner, “They knew what they were doing was wrong.”

“They were not credentialed to be walking around without an escort, and they were banging on the doors of the offices of Republicans like Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert as they were filming a skit on the Jan. 6 hearings — a topic the Left and woke media keep trying to use to distract the American People from issues like inflation, crime, and the border,” a GOP aide told the Examiner.

However, in a separate statement, the Capitol Police said they’d been informed the charges would not be pursued and said “we respect the decision that office has made.”