Stephen Colbert 'Late Show' staffers lied about having credentials before arrest, US Capitol Police chief says

The ‘Colbert 9’ were arrested in an unauthorized area of a U.S. Capitol building in June

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A production crew associated with "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" lied to authorities about being "credentialed staff" before their arrest in a House office building last month.

In a Tuesday letter to Republican Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois and Jim Jordan of Ohio, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger broke down the arrests, explaining how an aide from Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., called the police after hearing someone shouting at their office and banging on the door of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. 

The aide told authorities the Colbert team warned "we’re going to leave something under your door," the letter said. 

Seven of the nine people were associated with Colbert's show, while others were providing unarmed security. One of those arrested was Robert Smigel, 62, the voice of "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog."

US CAPITOL POLICE ARREST STEPHEN COLBERT STAFFERS AT HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL ENTRY

Charges against Stephen Colbert's staff were dropped on Monday. The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police on Tuesday said staffers from the Colbert's show lied to authorities when they said they had credentials to be in a House office building last month before their arrest.

Charges against Stephen Colbert's staff were dropped on Monday. The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police on Tuesday said staffers from the Colbert's show lied to authorities when they said they had credentials to be in a House office building last month before their arrest. (CBS)

"Defendant Smigel stated that the group was pretending to leave notes under the Member’s doors as part of the skits, but did not actually leave anything," the letter reads. "The note was allegedly an invitation to a cocaine orgy."

The cocaine remark was an apparent reference to claims by Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., that he had been invited to cocaine orgies in Washington since becoming a congressman. 

Earlier in the day, the group had conducted interviews with members of the Jan. 6 select committee, Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla, as well as Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass. 

Senior producer Jake Plunkett, who was also arrested, requested credentials from the House Radio/TV Gallery but was denied because the crew were not members of the press. The group had been provided credentials in the past to the Democratic and Republican national conventions, where the rules are less stringent for credentialing, the letter said. 

"Defendant Plunkett was told that the Gallery would not provide the group credentials since they were not press and, as they had been told previously, they were not allowed in the Congressional buildings as press," Manger wrote. "Mr. Plunkett was told he could appeal this decision to the Gallery’s Executive Committee, but he declined to do so, saying that he knew they would not qualify as press."

Actor and comedian Robert Smigel performs as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. 

Actor and comedian Robert Smigel performs as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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According to the police, the staffers were charged with unlawful entry after being found acting "disruptive, loud" and "theatrical" 

Manger’s letter also said the group was told they "could not come into the buildings without an escort nor be in the buildings without an escort." 

Federal prosecutors dropped charges against the nine crew members on Monday, saying they were never asked to leave the building by staffers who invited them, despite being told they needed to have an escort. 

"It is unfortunate that despite all of the evidence the Department presented, including that the group or its leader had been told several times that they could not be in the buildings without an escort, that the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute any members of the group for Unlawful Entry," Manger wrote.