Stephen Colbert Production Crew Arrested for Trespassing on Capitol Hill

U.S. Capitol Police arrested seven individuals associated with the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Thursday night.


U.S. Capitol Police arrested seven members of a production team for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Thursday night and charged them with unlawful entry.

  • Officers responded to a disturbance call after the Congressional office buildings were closed to visitors and arrested the unauthorized individuals who were “unescorted and without Congressional ID.” 
  • The production crew was on Capitol Hill recording interviews on the same day as the third televised Jan. 6 committee hearing. 
  • A CBS spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed. 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.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times predicted the arrests would “provide weekend fodder for pundits, comedians, and politicians” (fact check: true). 
  • CNN covered a statement from US Capitol Police that noted the crew had previously been directed by Capitol Police to leave the complex earlier in the day. 
  • CBS News, covering its own network, noted the suspects were part of a production team recording a “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” comedy segment that featured interviews with several members of Congress.



  • Fox News broke the story and reported the Colbert team initially applied for a press pass and was rejected, but did manage to interview Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Later, the crew was let in the building by a staffer for Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) and then left unattended for hours. 
  • The Daily Wire noted the crew was arrested near the office of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and quoted the Capitol Police report that “this is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.” 
  • Breitbart devoted their homepage to the story, accompanied by the blaring headline, “UNLAWFUL ENTRY! INSURRECTION?”

Author’s Take

Interestingly Breitbart, which has published articles asking whether the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters were “political prisoners,” now favorably quotes a Twitter personality calling for the judiciary to “throw the book at these trespassers.” Tucker Carlson said the crew had “committed insurrection” and insisted “it’s exactly like what happened on Jan. 6” I should note here that no cops were beaten, no gallows were erected and no feces were spread on the walls during the production crew’s unlawful entry.

Some principles should be core beliefs shared by all Americans – the rule of law matters, breaking the law is wrong, riots are detestable whether they happen in Portland or Baltimore, or the U.S. Capitol and rioters, no matter their politics or which politicians encourage them, should be arrested and punished. For much of the political class on the left and right, the law, or principles, only matter when they can be used to go after their enemies and ignored when the violators are on “their side” (e.g., Biden’s silence on attacks on pro-life groups and the assassination attempt on Brett Kavanaugh).

Which is it? Are people who breach the Capitol criminal trespassers, or political prisoners? Does it just depend on whether they agree with your politics? Is all of this just rhetorical Calvinball?

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© Dominic Moore, 2022