WASHINGTON — The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said Monday that it cannot move forward with misdemeanor charges against members of Stephen Colbert’s crew.
Nine members of the late night television host’s team were arrested on June 16 in the Longworth Office Building, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a Monday statement. But charges will not be sustained against these individuals.
“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.
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
“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 U.S. Attorney’s office said that the defendants will no longer be required to appear for the July 20 scheduled hearing in a DC court since “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 United States Capitol Police (USCP) also released a Monday statement in which it said the police force had been working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the “unlawful entry case” that involved the Colbert team.
“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,” the USCP said. “We respect the decision that office has made.”
According to Fox News’ Chad Pergram, the individuals unsuccessfully tried to get press credentials for the January 6 committee hearings since their late night show did don’t classify as “news.”
The team conducted interviews with Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, Democratic Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Jake Auchincloss while they were in the office buildings, Pergram said.
“However, the Colbert group left the House office buildings at some point,” Pergram tweeted. “Fox is told they were let back into the Longworth House Office Building sometime after 4 pm et by an aide to Auchincloss. The reason: the aide believed the Colbert group had other interviews to do.”
“The group apparently then roamed the House office buildings unattended for hours,” he continued. “They were arrested near the office of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) around 8:30 pm et and charged with unlawful entry. They were in jail for part of the night before being released Friday.”