WASHINGTON, DC- There is at least one individual within the halls of the United States Capitol who isn’t happy with the decision by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to drop all charges against the so-called “Colbert 9.”
Actually there are a lot of individuals who are unhappy with the decision, however U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger would seem to hold a bit more sway.
This would seem to be especially true as the show trial being conducted over the January 6 “insurrection” has seen members of Congress tripping over themselves to defend the Capitol police, for Democrats the first such time they’ve ever defended cops.
Fox News reports that Manger is angered by that decision, where the nine staffers of The Late Show were caught trespassing after hours inside the Longworth House Office Building, and then lied to responding Capitol police officers that they in fact held congressional credentials.
“It is unfortunate that despite all the evidence the department presented, including that the group had been told several times that they could not be in the buildings without an escort, that the U.S. attorney’s office declined to prosecute any members of the group for unlawful entry,” Manger wrote. [emphasis added]
Manger’s complaint was part of a letter sent to two key Republicans, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, top Republican on the House Administration Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the leading Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
After the June arrests, both Davis and Jordan sent a letter to the chief asking for answers about the late night arrests of the nine.
Manger’s response outlines a detailed step-by-step timeline of the events of June 16, which led to the arrests of the nine in the Longworth building.
The Colbert crew initially tried to obtain press credentials to cover the January 6 show trial, however, were told by representatives of the House Radio/TV Gallery that since they were a comedy troupe and not actual journalists, they did not qualify for press credentials at the Capitol.
The group was told they could appeal the decision to the Radio/TV Correspondents’ Association if they wished to pursue that avenue.
That group is charged with issuing credentials to congressional reporters. Jake Plunkett, a Colbert staff member said they would not pursue the issue because they were not in fact press.
Manger’s letter further noted that gallery staff warned Colbert’s crew they could not enter the congressional office building without an escort.
A typical violation of trespass statutes involves individuals “entering or remaining in a building without authorization to do so.” That is clearly what appeared to have been done in this case.
The Colbert 9 arranged to interview several members of Congress on June 15; on June 16, they performed a skit outside the office of California Democrat Ted Lieu on June 16.
It had been previously reported that the staff members were at the Capitol to do interviews with lawmakers on the 16th. That access was authorized because they had made prior arrangements with congressional offices, Fox said.
Later that afternoon, the Jan. 6 committee held a show trial hearing in the Cannon Caucus Room, located just off the Cannon Rotunda.
In addition to a standard “hard pass,” the Gallery required journalists covering the hearing or in the area near the room to possess another pass called an “overlay” credential. That document allows journalists to attain access to the hearing area.
Despite not meeting that requirement, Colbert’s lackeys hung around in the area where the committee was meeting.
While they didn’t go into the zone where they were banned and did not enter the hearing room, they still drew the attention of gallery staff and Capitol Police; at this time they already lacked an escort from a congressional office.
It was shortly afterward that USCP officers, according to Chief Manger, confronted the nine and had them “escorted out of the building for violating building rules.”
That mattered not to far left Massachusetts Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D), with one of his aides readmitting the group back into the House office buildings later that afternoon.
The staffer was allegedly under the impression they had additional interviews to conduct. The aide left, and the group was “improperly allowed to remain in the building.”
Later that night, Colbert’s crew started to draw some unwanted attention to themselves. According to Capitol Police, they received a call from an aide to New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman at around 8:26 p.m.
The aide was working late, and told police he “could hear a man shouting outside his office” and banging on the door of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) down the hall. One of the men was yelling, “Do you remember me? Do you remember me? It’s me. We’re going to leave something under your door.”
This conduct alarmed Bowman’s staffer, who promptly locked the door. When Capitol police officers arrived, the first officer found seven of Colbert’s people in the corridor.
Manger said Plunkett lied when confronted about being there, telling the officer “they were credentialed staff.” Plunkett told officers they “were contractors for the CBS television network.”
Clearly the troupe was in the building to engage in partisan political chicanery. Plunkett almost admitted as much when he told police they were going to record skits outside the office of Republicans Kevin McCarthy (CA), House Minority Leader.
The list also included Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), tow firebrand freshmen Republicans. One of the crew, Robert Smigel who voices something called Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, told officers the skits included the group pretending to leave messages under the doors of lawmakers.
“The note was allegedly an invitation to a cocaine orgy,” Manger wrote in his letter to Davis and Jordan.
According to Fox, this appears to be a reference to claims made by Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) that fellow lawmakers invited him to cocaine-fueled parties in the nation’s capital.
At this point, the officer who eventually threw the crew out of the Capitol arrived on the scene. He said the group had tried to conduct unescorted interviews in the hallway near the Jan. 6 hearing room, which was why he had removed them earlier.
Manger wrote that the Colbert 9 “violated the regulations a second time, and officer stook them into custody for unlawful entry.”
Out of those arrested, seven gave written statements while two invoked their Miranda rights. Prosecutors however said it would be “challenging” to win a conviction in court and dropped the charges.
It should be noted that the charges were similar, if not identical, to some of the charges put forth against Jan. 6 protesters, some who are still languishing in DC area jails over eighteen months after the incident.
Many who faced similar charges were also found guilty and sentenced to jail terms. The claim it would be “challenging” to win a conviction appears to be a load of BS.
“We do not believe it is probable that the office would be able to obtain and sustain convictions on these charges,’ said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington, D.C.
While Manger claims to be “disappointed,” Fox News has been told that many officers within the USCP are “seething,” holding the belief that the U.S. Attorney threw the department under the bus.
They claim it is difficult to secure the Capitol complex after such an incident goes unanswered.
In another interesting development, not one member of the Jan. 6 panel has weighed in on the incident, which truth be told is not surprising.
Yet while the incident clearly didn’t rise to the level of some of the conduct on Jan. 6, they still trespassed in a government building, unescorted, after hours. In the case of Bowman’s aide, he was spooked enough by the incident that he called the police.
Entering and remaining in the Capitol or its connected office buildings is a crime, whether it occurs on Jan. 6, 2021, or on June 16, 2022. The only difference is the team you are playing for.
For more on the Colbert insurrection, we invite you to:
The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
We expect that will be the new cause celebre for leftists after the latest attempted Capitol insurrection which took place this past Thursday at the “House of Our Democracy,” the United States Capitol.
That was when an unhinged mob associated with “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” trespassed at the US Capitol with the intentions of subverting our democracy! After all, turnabout is fair play, right?
Think a smaller version of January 6 without an unarmed woman getting gunned down by a US Capitol police officer.
In case you missed it, media sources, including the Washington Examiner report that at least seven members of Colbert’s production team were arrested at the Capitol Thursday night and charged with unlawful entry.
As a point of information, that was the same charge levied against a majority of January 6, 2021, protesters, many of whom are still held in DC-area jails, some in solitary confinement. However in the case of Colbert’s team, all were released.
NEW: U.S. Capitol Police: "On June 16 at approximately 8:30PM, USCP received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Building. Responding officers observed seven individuals… in a sixth-floor hallway… They were charged with Unlawful Entry…"https://t.co/yasBIg20xS pic.twitter.com/ehyuTOuGSx
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) June 17, 2022
According to the New York Post, the Colbert staffers were found by U.S. Capitol police officers roaming unaccompanied inside the Longworth House Office Building, which houses offices for members of the House, the USCP said in a statement to the Post.
They further stated the trespassers were “unescorted and without Congressional ID” in a hallway on the sixth floor.
The building was closed to the public at the time of the incident, and police also confirmed the same group had been asked to leave the grounds earlier in the day, when they showed up without proper credentials in the press area where the January 6 hearing was convened, Fox News reported.
The Associated Press reported a total of seven arrests, although a total of nine individuals were stopped by USCP officers, including someone named Robert Smigel, whose apparent claim to fame is being the voice behind something called “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.” Quite a career there.
Fox reported the Late Show staff had applied for press credentials for the hearing, however since the show is not considered a “news” program, they were denied. They were at the Capitol to record interviews with House members for a segment of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Fox further reported the interviews were “authorized and prearranged through Congressional aides of the members” they met with.
Among those interviewed were the Russia collusion hoax-obsessed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of the January 6 inquisition team, as well as Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), another member, and an unknown named Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Fox said.
It is believed that after they were booted from the Capitol earlier Thursday, they were let back inside without permission by an aide to Auchincloss.
Fox News reported sources indicate the trespassers took videos and pictures around the officers of Republican House members Lauren Boebert (CO) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA).
The Washington Examiner reported the following statement issued by the Capitol Police Department:
On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building. Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway.
The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day. They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultations with the U.S. Attorney.
In addition to Smigel, others in the group included Jake Plunkett, Allison Martinez, Tyrone Dean, Stephen Romond, Nicoletta Green, Brendan Hurley, Josh Comers, and David Feldman. It is unknown which seven were charged, nor why the additional two were not.
In a statement, CBS said:
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.”
The 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.
The Washington Examiner was told by a source familiar with the incident that while the group was initially given permission to enter the US Capitol complex to conduct prearranged interviews, they “overstayed their welcome.”
Wow, sounds like sedition to us!
A GOP aided drew similarities between what was facilitated by House Democrats and the January 6 committee’s assertion that Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) had nefarious intentions the day before the Capitol siege when he allegedly conducted a tour of the Capitol.
“On the 50th anniversary of Watergate, Democrat staffers from the offices of Adam Schiff and Jake Auchincloss got a film crew into the House Office Buildings that then went around the same buildings that Rep. Loudermilk was accused of giving ‘reconnaissance’ tours of—a claim that’s been debunked by Capitol Police,” the aide told the Examiner.
“Late last night, CBS employees who work for the Colbert Show were arrested by Capitol Police for unlawful entry and spend the night in jail,” the Republican aide added.
“They were not credentialed to be walking around without an escort, and they were banging on the doors of the offices of Republicans like Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and Lauren Boebert as they were filing a skit on the Jan. 6 hearings—a topic the Left and woke media keep trying to use to distract the American People from issues like inflation, crime, and the border.”
The Jan. 6 inquisition squad has tried to make a mountain out of a molehill concerning the tour given by Loudermilk, insinuating something nefarious had occurred. That contention was shot out of the water by the Capitol Police Chief this past Monday. USCP Chief Tom Manger wrote:
“There is no evidence that Rep. Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021. We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious.”
While over 840 people have been arrested thus far related to the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol, over two-thirds have been charged with trespassing or parading on Capitol grounds, much as what the Colbert crew is accused of.
House Republicans are accusing Schiff, the Trump-obsessed, bug-eyed Democrat of allowing Colbert’s crew into the Capitol, which is quite hilarious when you consider his participation in pushing for former President Trump’s second impeachment for allegedly encouraging the lamest insurrection in world history.
“Adam Schiff’s cronies snuck in Stephen Colbert’s staff to the US Capitol and facilitated unauthorized reconnaissance tours of GOP offices,” the official account for the House Judiciary Committee Republicans said.
Adam Schiff’s cronies snuck in Stephen Colbert’s staff to the U.S. Capitol and facilitated unauthorized reconnaissance tours of GOP offices.
Barely a peep from the mainstream media.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 18, 2022
“On the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, @RepAdamSchiff’s cronies sneak Stephen Colbert’s staffers and provide unauthorized reconnaissance tours of Republican offices throughout Capitol Hill,” they wrote in a follow-up message, which also included an embedded Fox News segment on the arrests by Fox News host Jesse Watters.
🚨 #BREAKING: On the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, @RepAdamSchiff's cronies sneak in Stephen Colbert's staffers and provide unauthorized reconnaissance tours of Republican offices throughout Capitol Hill. pic.twitter.com/XHbLdGKRka
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 18, 2022
For her part, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) asked: “Why was @StephenAtHome’s staff breaking federal law and at my office last night?
“Was this an illegal reconnaissance tour or a full-on insurrection? Did thy go in? Did Stephen fund this? Is he being charged? I’m demanding answers,’ she wrote.
Why was @StephenAtHome’s staff breaking federal law and at my office last night?
Was this an illegal reconnaissance tour or a full on insurrection?
Did they go in? Did Stephen fund this? Is he being charged?
I’m demanding answers.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) June 18, 2022
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