Republican lawmakers are demanding answers following the Thursday arrests of several CBS staffers from Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” who were arrested for unlawful entry to the Capitol building.
In the wake of the House January 6 Committee’s interrogation of Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) for giving a tour of the Capitol building on January 5 — and on the 50th anniversary of Watergate — Colbert’s uncredentialled employees were reportedly let into the Capitol by Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) and House Jan. 6 Committee Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and were allowed to roam, unescorted, throughout the complex, Fox News reported.
“Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog” puppeteer Robert Smigel, Colbert writer Josh Comers, and associate producer Allison Martinez were among those who were arrested.
While allegedly filming a skit for Colbert’s late-night talk show, the group of unaccompanied yucksters was reportedly banging on the doors of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
Fox News’s Jesse Watters called the incident “a major breach of security” and invited House Committee on Administration ranking member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) on Friday’s “Jesse Watters Primetime” to comment.
“I’m going to make sure that, when we get back to Washington next week, we’re going to ask the questions that need to be asked,” Davis said. “We’ll ask the security officials why these arrests had to be made, what were they doing without an escort at a time when, you know, the January 6 Select Committee on the 50th anniversary of Watergate made it look like my colleague, Barry Loudermilk, somehow took kids with gift bags to do reconnaissance missions.”
“Let me put it to you this way, too, Jesse,” Davis added, “the only people arrested by Capitol police for touring the House office buildings are the people that work for Stephen Colbert.”
Prior to their arrests, Colbert’s group was seen in a Jan. 6 Committee hearings media staging area of the Cannon House Office Building after Schiff’s team reportedly gave them access. Members of the press had them escorted out, only to have Auchincloss’s staffers allegedly let them back into Longworth, where outspoken Rep. Lauren Boebert’s office is located.
“It’s my understanding they were offered a way back into the House office buildings by a staffer for [Auchincloss],” Davis said.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson went a step further than Watters and stated that “Stephen Colbert’s producers just committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.”
Stephen Colbert's producers just committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/8lHkIcCYld
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 18, 2022
“This is almost beyond belief,” Carlson said.
Adam Schiff, said the controversial host, “spent the last year and a half telling you that unauthorized violations of Capitol space are a coup,” only to “illegally [give] CBS producers access to the Capitol.”
The group, Carlson said, was in Longworth “after hours.”
“The point of them being there,” he said, “was for them to harass sitting members of Congress.”
The charge faced by Colbert’s team, Carlson noted, “is the exact same charge that many January 6 defendants face.”
“We’ll just get right to it,” he said. “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?” he asked. “Because this is an insurrection.”
“Joking aside,” continued Carlson, “how can they not be held for a year and a half in solitary confinement without being charged? Because the precedent is in place.”
“And how in the world can Adam Schiff — who again, 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?” he asked. “It’s exactly like what happened on January 6, so we’ll take a close look at what the punishments are.”
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