‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Staffers Won’t Be Prosecuted After Arrest At Capitol

UPDATED: Staffers for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert won’t be prosecuted after their arrest last month for unlawful entry at the Capitol.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. said that they could not move forward with charges because those detained “were invited by Congressional staffers to enter the building in each instance and were never asked to leave by the staffers who invited them, though, members of the group had been told at various points by the Capitol Police that they were supposed to have an escort.”

More from Deadline

In its own statement, the Capitol Police said that the nine were arrested “because members of the group had been told several times before they entered the Congressional buildings that they had to remain with a staff escort inside the buildings and they failed to do so.”

“The United States Capitol Police was just informed the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is declining to prosecute the case,” the Capitol Police said in a statement. “We respect the decision that office has made.”

. - Credit: (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

(Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Among those arrested at the Longworth House Office Building was Robert Smigel, who is known for being the creator, puppeteer and voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

In their initial statement, Capitol Police said that at about 8:30 p.m. on June 16, they “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.”

CBS said last month that Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was “on-site at the Capitol with a production team” June 15 and 16, recording interviews.

The interviews “were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed,” CBS said. “After leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that to prosecute, “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. We do not believe that it is probable that the office would be able to obtain and sustain convictions on these charges.”

After the arrests, Colbert said on his show that the 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, which actually is not surprising. The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were 18 months ago and for a very good reason. If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch.”

He added: “The Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm. My staffers were detained, processed and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff.”

Colbert went on to skewer Fox News for “claiming that my puppet squad had committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.”

“First of all: what? Second of all: huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol building. Fourth of all and I’m shocked I have to explain the difference, but an insurrection involves interrupting the lawful action of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. This was first-degree puppetry.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.