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CBS production crew arrested at U.S. Capitol

A production crew filming a segment for the CBS program “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was arrested at the U.S. Capitol this week, the network confirmed in a statement Friday evening.

Seven people on the production crew were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police after they were discovered in a restricted hallway without clearance or an escort.

The arrested individuals included Robert Smigel, a comedian best known as the voice and puppeteer behind “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.” Smigel and the crew had visited the Capitol on Wednesday without incident, and several interviews had been cleared with Congressional aides of the lawmakers involved in the segment, CBS said.

“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,” a CBS spokesperson affirmed.

A statement issued by U.S. Capitol Police said Smigel and the production crew had been asked to leave earlier in the day before they were found in a sixth-floor hallway of the building.

“The building was closed to visitors,” police said in their statement.

The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges, the U.S. Capitol Police said, and an active criminal investigation is ongoing. It was not clear what charges the crew were facing in connection with the incident.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” tapes before an audience between Mondays and Thursdays. Two episodes are taped Thursdays, with the second episode airing Friday evening.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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