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Colbert Production Team Won’t Be Prosecuted Following Capitol Arrest

The crew was recording a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sketch when they were arrested for unlawful entry

colbert capitol arrest
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Stephen Colbert (CBS)
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    The seven individuals working for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert who were arrested for unlawful entry to the US Capitol last month will not be prosecuted, Deadline reports.

    Members of Colbert’s production crew, including veteran comedian Robert Smigel, were at the Capitol on June 15th and 16th recording authorized and pre-arranged interviews with members of Congress for a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sketch. “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,” CBS said in a statement.

    Now, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced that it will not move forward with the charges against the crew because they “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.” In order 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.”

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    Capitol Police said in its own statement that the individuals were detained because they “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,” though the police added that they “respect the decision that office has made” not to prosecute.

    Colbert addressed his staffers’ arrest shortly after the incident, explaining on his talk show, “The Capitol police are much more cautious than they were, say, 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.”

    Of course, the comedian had more serious words for Tucker Carlson, who equated Colbert’s staffers with the January 6th insurrectionists.  “I’m shocked I have to explain the difference, but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders — all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. “This was first-degree puppetry.”

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