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Colbert show staffers detained by Capitol Police in congressional building

Colbert show staffers detained by Capitol Police in congressional building

A production team for CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was detained by U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday after recording interviews on the same day as one of the Jan. 6 committee hearings, a spokesperson for the network confirmed Friday.

Renata Luczak, vice president of entertainment communications for CBS, said the production team associated with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a character voiced by Robert Smigel, was on Capitol Hill both Wednesday and Thursday for a comedy segment on behalf of “The Late Show.”

“Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed,” Luczak said in an email. “After leaving the members’ office 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.”

She did not specify how many individuals were detained or whether they were arrested. NBC News has reached out for additional information.

U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement Friday that officers received a call around 8:30 p.m. Thursday “or 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,” Capitol Police said, without providing additional details about the individuals or why they were there.

“They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

Fox News, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that the seven individuals arrested work for “The Late Show.”

Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, which has oversight of House security, said in a Fox News interview that he intended to pursue the matter.

“We’ll ask the security officials why these arrests had to be made, what were they doing without an escort,” Davis said.

He then compared the incident to the Jan. 6 committee earlier this week releasing new footage of a man who made violent verbal threats against top Democratic lawmakers outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and who the day before had been taken on a tour of House office buildings by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.

“The only people arrested by Capitol police for touring the House office buildings are the people who work for Stephen Colbert,” Davis said.

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

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