Nine people affiliated with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert were arrested Thursday night for allegedly illegally entering the Longworth House Office Building near the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) told Fox News on Friday.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, CBS confirmed that members of the show’s staff, who were there to record interviews, were detained.
“On Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews for a comedy segment on behalf of ‘The Late Show.’ Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed,” the network 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.”
According to Davis, the staffers were cleared into the Capitol complex by staffers for Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Before being detained, they reportedly banged on the doors of offices of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
Police said they were responding to a call for a disturbance in the building, which was closed to visitors, where they found “seven individuals” in a sixth-floor hallway without an escort or Congressional ID. Police added that the staffers were part of a group that officers had told to leave earlier that day.
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted a list of nine Late Show staffers he claimed were arrested, one of whom was Robert Smigel, the puppeteer of “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.” Capitol Police haven’t released the identities of those arrested.
In response to the incident, Fox News hosts and other conservative commentators began to characterize the apparent trespass as similar to the Jan. 6 insurrection–a deadly event borne out of an anti-democratic lie by a would-be autocrat.
“We might have to have hearings. We might have to have our own committee to investigate this sort of CBS News breach of the Capitol,” Fox host Jesse Watters said while speaking with Davis. “Obviously they were way too aggressive–banging on doors, intimidating people.” Watters also tossed around the idea that Colbert was behind “a conspiracy.”
Meanwhile, The Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway tweeted an implicit reference to Watergate: “What did the J6 committee know and when did they know it about the Colbert insurrection at the Capitol?” Frequent Fox guest Monica Crowley chimed in with, “Insurrection! Death of democracy!”
And the namesake host of Tucker Carlson Tonight confidently declared the event to be “exactly like what happened on Jan. 6.”
“It is likely that some members of Stephen Colbert’s team will be held in solitary confinement for a year and a half without being charged. Why? Because this is an insurrection,” Carlson said.
“Joking aside, how could they not be held for a year and a half in solitary confinement without being charged?” he continued. “Because the precedent is in place. And how in the world can Adam Schiff, who spent the last year and a half eliminating the civil liberties of Trump voters on the basis of January 6, do the exact same thing and not face punishment?”