The Stephen Colbert producer and staffer arrested for trespassing in the House office did nothing for Democrats, sparking outrage over the Jan. 6 riots in the Capitol.
Seven people working for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” were arrested and charged with illegal entry after Capitol Police found no escort in the Longworth Building office building at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
After being denied a select committee hearing and told to leave by Capitol Police, the staff were allowed to return to the Longworth Building by an aide to Rep. Jack Auchincross, D-Mass., according to Fox News.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law, said illegal entry was “the same charge as the vast majority of those arrested” in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.
“If the crew felt it was better to ask for forgiveness rather than allow to stay, that’s a very bad decision given the safety rules after January 6,” Mr Turley said in his statement. blog“It could put some of these members in an embarrassing position. After the riots in January, it’s hard to downplay such security breaches.”
He noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “has repeatedly attacked Republicans for not taking new safety precautions seriously and imposing hefty fines for non-compliance, including evading metal detectors.”
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The CBS team had previously conducted pre-scheduled interviews with Mr. Auchin Krause, as well as Democrats Rep. Adam Schiff and Florida’s Stephanie Murphy, both members of the Jan. 6 panel, Fox News Congressional Correspondent Chad Pegram report.
– Jesse Waters Primetime (@jesseprimetime) June 17, 2022
Ironically, Georgia Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk heads up Last week, the ad hoc committee was due to visit voters the day before the riots, including at least one person who marched through the Capitol.
Some lawmakers had suggested it was a reconnaissance mission for the mob, but Capitol Police said earlier this month that was not the case.
“While they accuse me of visiting the Capitol illegally, they are visiting the Capitol illegally. Who will hold them accountable?” Mr. Loudermilk said during a speech at the Faith and Freedom Alliance policy conference in Nashville.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, has called for an investigation of Colbert’s staff, including Robert Smigel, the comedian behind the cigar-chewing puppet’s triumphant insult to comic dogs.
“From what I understand, these people were brought in by people associated with Adam Schiff’s office,” Mr. Davis said on Fox News on Friday. “During the January 6 hearing yesterday, they were in the Cannon building trying to get close to where the accredited media was supposed to be.”
He said Colbert’s staff were told to leave by Capitol Police after being flagged by a qualified reporter, but returned and were “provided a way back to the House office building by a staff member who was working for another member of Congress”, Apparently referring to Mr. Auchincross.
“They’ve actually been seen knocking on people’s doors, like [Republican] Kevin McCarthy’s office, Jim Jordan’s office,” Mr. Davis said. “What are they doing? why are they there? “
Capitol Police said it was conducting an “active criminal investigation” into the incident and that additional criminal charges were likely.
In a statement, CBS said the production team was at the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday for comedy segments of Mr. Colbert’s show, which featured insults to the comic dog’s victory.
“Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-scheduled by the congressional aides of the members being interviewed,” the CBS statement said. “After leaving the members’ offices for the last interview of the day, the production team was in the custody of Capitol Police while they were in the custody of the Capitol. Staying in the lobby for stand-up and other final comedy elements.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney, Republican of New York, accused Democrats of being a “political theater,” saying no official ID and congressional escorts were allowed into the Longworth building.
“They’re not serious when their friends or the media around them are unescorted, but the rest of us have to have ambassadors and our constituents accompanied by even interns to walk into the building,” Ms Tenney said. “It’s a hypocritical double standard that they’re trying to portray, and I think they’ve taken a hit on that.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, Republican of Colorado, tweeted: “After we held him and his producer in solitary for 17 months, it’s time for a Stephen Colbert committee. That’s it now, right? ? Standard operating procedures?”
So far, House Democrats have not commented on the arrests. Mr. Schiff appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday but was not asked about it.
The Washington Times has reached out to Mr. Auchincross and Mr. Schiff for comment.
Davis, a senior member of the House Administration Committee, which oversees Capitol Police, said he plans to pursue the matter this week.
“We’re going to ask security officials why these arrests were necessary, and when the Watergate 50th Anniversary Special Committee asked my colleague Barry Loudermilk to take the children in some way on January 6, they didn’t What did the escort do in the case of carrying a gift bag on a reconnaissance mission,” Mr Davis said.
He added, “The only person who has been arrested by Capitol Police for visiting the House office building is someone who works for Stephen Colbert.”