The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed on Monday that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is “declining to prosecute the case” against several staffers from The Late Show.
“The USCP arrested nine people for Unlawful Entry charges 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 Capitol Police said in a press release. “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.”
In June, a Late Show production team and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog puppeteer Robert Smigel were spotted around the Capitol filming a segment during the third day of the Jan. 6 hearings. Later that evening, after the building was closed to the public, the group either remained in or returned to the Longworth House Office Building to film additional material. U.S. Capitol Police detained the group and charged them with unlawful entry.
“The Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm,” the late-night host said. “My staffers were detained, processed and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff.”
Colbert also explained that it was a “fairly simple” story — until Fox News got wind of the incident and “started claiming that my puppet squad had committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.”
“First of all: what? Second of all: huh?” Colbert responded. “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.”
The interviews being filmed by The Late Show staff in Washington, D.C. were “authorized and pre-arranged,” according to a statement a CBS spokesperson gave to The Hollywood Reporter.