Late-night host Stephen Colbert’s team unlawfully entered the Capitol building, but the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said this week that they will not move forward with misdemeanor charges against members of Colbert’s crew.
There were a total of nine members of the late-night television host’s team arrested on June 16 in the Longworth Office Building, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“After a comprehensive review of all of the evidence and the relevant legal authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has determined that it cannot move forward with misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against the nine individuals who were arrested on June 16, 2022 at the Longworth Office Building,” the attorney’s office said.
“The individuals, who entered the building on two separate occasions, 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 U.S. Capitol Police that they were supposed to have an escort,” the statement continued.
The defendants will no longer have to appear for the July 20 hearing in a DC court. This is because “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,” and it does not “believe it is probable that the Office would be able to obtain and sustain convictions on these charges.”
The Capitol police department responded to the news saying, “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. We respect the decision that office has made.”
Colbert’s team tried to get press credentials for the January 6 committee hearings, but their show was not classified as “news.”
While in the building, the team conducted interviews with Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, Democratic Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Jake Auchincloss. And according to Fox News, they were let back into the building by an aid to conduct even more interviews.
While in the building, the group apparently roamed the House office buildings unattended for hours. They were arrested near the office of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) around 8:30 pm and charged with unlawful entry. They stayed in jail for part of the night before being released.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia "cannot move forward with misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against" members of Stephen Colbert's staff and crew arrested June 16, saying they were "never asked to leave by the staffers who invited them." pic.twitter.com/d77sVbB88k
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) July 18, 2022