US Capitol Police said in a Friday statement that at approximately 8:30 pm Thursday, officers “observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway” in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington.
“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,” the statement said.
Capitol Police said the individuals were charged with unlawful entry, adding that the matter is considered “an active criminal investigation” and that it “may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the US Attorney.”
CBS said in a statement that its crew was onsite at the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday as it filmed a segment featuring “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog,” a puppet voiced by the comedian Robert Smigel. CBS said that its production team’s interviews with members of Congress had been “authorized and pre-arranged.”
The network said that after the interviews had concluded on Thursday, the production team “stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police.”
On Fox News, the channel’s prime-time hosts used the development to link Democrats to the security violation.
Fox News host Jesse Watters ran a chyron, for instance, Friday that declared, “SCHIFF IMPLICATED IN CAPITOL BREACH.”
Later in the evening, Tucker Carlson, who has repeatedly mocked the assertion that an insurrection took place on January 6 and promoted conspiracy theories about the events of that day, asserted that the crew had “committed insurrection.”
“It’s exactly like what happened on January 6, so we’ll take a close look at what the punishments are,” Carlson said.
On-screen graphics during Carlson’s coverage read “PENCIL-NECK SCHIFF ASSISTED COLBERT INSURRECTION” and “COLBERT PRODUCERS BREAK INTO THE CAPITOL.”
Fox News was still aggressively covering the story Saturday morning.
“We have to get to the bottom of it,” host Rachel Campos-Duffy said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
Elsewhere in right-wing media, the coverage was similar. Breitbart’s main homepage headline, for instance, read: “UNLAWFUL ENTRY! INSURRECTION? STEPHEN COLBERT STAFFERS ARRESTED FOR BREACHING US CAPITOL.”
It is not clear when the filmed segment might air on “The Late Show.”
A spokesperson for CBS declined to answer further questions on the incident. Colbert has also not yet commented on the matter.