Seven production members filming a comedy segment for CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert inside a US Capitol office building were arrested Thursday night, police said Friday.
The production team of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog — a puppet voiced by comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer Robert Smigel — were at the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday to record interviews with members of Congress for their segment, CBS said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
The interviews were authorized and prearranged through the members' aides, the statement said. Smigel has been covering the ongoing public hearings by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
"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," CBS said.
Neither CBS nor the police identified the production members who were arrested.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Capitol Police said they received a call reporting a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Responding officers observed seven people "unescorted and without congressional ID" in a sixth-floor hallway of the building while it was closed to visitors.
Police said the crew members had been directed to leave the building earlier in the day. They have been charged with unlawful entry and may face additional charges as the investigation continues, police said.
Photos shared on Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's Twitter account showed the crew filming inside the building at the Capitol on Thursday as the hearing on the Jan. 6 attack was underway.
Conservatives were quick to draw ridiculous comparisons between the Colbert crew members' arrests and the violent pro–Donald Trump mob that stormed the Capitol last year.
“Last night, producers from Stephen Colbert’s show on CBS committed insurrection at the United States Capitol,” Fox News' Tucker Carlson said on his show Friday. "It’s exactly like what happened on Jan. 6, so we’ll take a close look at what the punishments are," he claimed.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also described the comedy crew's actions as an "insurrection" and "targeted harassment."
Many Republicans have consistently downplayed the dangerous and violent actions of the Jan. 6 rioters attempting to stop Joe Biden from becoming certified as president.
Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk, who has come under scrutiny for leading a tour group whose members took photos of staircases and tunnel entrances inside the Capitol a day before the attack, also commented on the arrests.
"So while they're accusing me of giving illegal tours of the Capitol, they are giving illegal tours of the Capitol," Loudermilk told Fox News on Saturday, accusing California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of bringing the comedy crew into the Capitol. "Who's going to hold them accountable?" he said.