Nine communist activists who worked for comedian Stephen Colbert and unlawfully invaded the US Capitol building in June have had all charges against them dismissed.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has decided it cannot pursue misdemeanor charges of unauthorized entry against the nine people who were detained on June 16, 2022 at the Longworth Office Building after carefully examining all of the evidence and the pertinent legal precedent.
Although members of the groups had been informed at various points by the US Capitol Police that they were supposed to have an escort, the individuals who entered the building on two separate occasions were invited to do so by Congressional staffers on each occasion, and they were never asked to leave, Monday night, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a statement.
Because their escort opted to leave them alone, the office would need to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that these invited visitors committed the offense of unauthorized entrance. We don’t think it’s likely that the Office could get convictions on these charges and keep them up.
On July 20, 2022, the defendants will no longer be compelled to show up for a hearing in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
The announcement comes as the Department of Justice keeps pursuing Americans who entered the US Capitol on January 6 without using force harshly. US Capitol Police officers frequently held open doors for them so they could enter.
Pam Hemphill, a grandmother and 69-year-old cancer sufferer, was sentenced to federal jail this week for her nonviolent actions on January 6.
1) Prosecutors have dropped charges against the “Colbert 9” after the USCP arrested them for unlawful entry were caught recording comedy skits inside a House Office Building after hours without permission in June.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
3) That’s because they are considered to be entertainment and not news.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
Regardless, the team had interviews scheduled with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Jake Auchincloss (D-MA).
5) The House Radio-TV Gallery as well as Capitol Police required just not a press pass to cover the hearings but a special overlay for that area. That’s because of the high interest in the hearings by the press corps.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
7) Fox is told the aide thought they had other interviews to do.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
But later that night, around 8:30 pm et, the same Capitol Police officers who asked them to leave earlier in the day found the Colbert 9 in the Longworth House Office Building.
9) Capitol Police arrested the nine and charged them with unlawful entry. They spent part of the night in jail before being released early the next morning. They were slated to have a court appearance on Wednesday.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
Among those arrested: Robert Smigel.
11) Sources close to the Capitol Police tell Fox this undercuts law enforcement as they try to secure the Capitol complex after the riot.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 18, 2022
.@nedryun Joins @JesseBWatters To React To Charges Against The Colbert 9 Being Dropped— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 18, 2022
Ned: “If you have the wrong political views or the wrong political connections, you have the book thrown at you. But if you have the right connections, everything gets dropped.” pic.twitter.com/BgVVBaklB3