Late Show With Stephen Colbert Staffers Arrested at the Capitol Won't Face Charges

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert explained why some of his staffers, including the comic behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, were detained by Capitol Police.

By Cydney Contreras Jul 19, 2022 1:52 PMTags
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UPDATE: The nine Late Show with Stephen Colbert staffers arrested at the U.S. Capitol on June 16 will not be facing charges.

"The USCP was just informed the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is declining to prosecute the case," a media release from the United States Capitol Police said in part July 19. "We respect the decision that office has made."

A separate statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office explained that the Late Show employees "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 also noted that the "escort chose to leave them unattended."


Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is out of the doghouse.

Four days after Capitol Police confirmed the popular puppet, voiced by Robert Smigel, and seven members of The Late Show's production team were arrested and charged with unlawful entry to the U.S. Capitol, Stephen Colbert addressed the incident on the June 20 episode of the late-night program.

As Colbert explained, the Late Show staffers and Smigel were detained while filming extra "jokey" scenes at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C. They've since been released.

While discussing the incident, Colbert referenced the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, which is currently being investigated by the House select committee, saying, "The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were 18 months ago and for a very good reason."

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"The Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm," Colbert continued. "My staffers were detained, processed and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff."

Though Colbert called it a "fairly simple story," it took on a new life when Fox News "started claiming that my puppet squad had committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building."

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The Late Show host said his team was merely there to film and, at most, this was "first-degree puppetry."

He went on to criticize Fox News for comparing his staffers' arrests to the Jan. 6 attacks. "Drawing any equivalency between a rioter storming the Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died," he said, "and obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol police showed on that terrible day."

Colbert jokingly added, "But who knows? Maybe there was a vast conspiracy to overthrow the government of the U.S. with a rubber Rottweiler."

At the time of the arrests, Capitol Police confirmed to E! News that they're still investigating what happened and there may be additional charges filed.

This story was originally published on Tues., Jun 21, 2022 at 10:07 a.m. PT.

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