Fox News host Tucker Carlson wasted no time on Friday in trolling over the arrest of seven staffers from “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” who were found trespassing in an office building in the U.S. Capitol complex after hours.
First, Carlson half-jokingly claimed that “producers for Stephen Colbert’s show on CBS committed insurrection at the United States Capitol” — despite no evidence that the crew was in the Longworth House Office Building for anything other than a taped comedy bit. He then claimed, without support, that “the point of them being there was to harass sitting members of Congress — Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert.”
Later, the host suggested that “It’s likely that some members of Stephen Colbert’s team will be held in solitary confinement for a year and a half without being charged. Why? Because this is an insurrection.”
According to a statement from CBS, a camera crew with comedian Robert Smigel and his Triumph the Insult Comic Dog character shot segments for an upcoming Colbert comedy segment on Wednesday and Thursday that “were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed. 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.”
Capitol Police said that the crew had been told to leave the office building earlier in the day — and that seven people were charged with unlawful entry; an investigation is now underway that could lead to additional criminal charges.
Naturally, Carlson tried to use the episode to try to score political points by comparing the CBS production crew with the hundreds of Trump supporters who illegally broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — some of who have been accused (and convicted) of acts of violence, vandalism and seditious efforts to undermine democracy.
After noting that the Colbert crew was charged with “unlawful entry into the Capitol complex,” he noted, “Now that’s the exact same charge that many January 6 defendants face.”
Carlson also took several digs at Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who was a leading figure in the post-Jan. 6 impeachment — whom the host claimed, without evidence, “illegally gave producers from CBS access to the Capitol.” This, Carlson complained, came after Schiff “spent the last year and a half telling you that unauthorized violations of Capitol space are a coup.”
He targeted Schiff again when calling for the jailing of Smigel and the Colbert production crew — and suggesting that the congressman himself face legal consequences. “How in the world can Adam Schiff, who spent the last year and a half eliminating the civil liberties of Trump voters on the basis of January 6, do the exact same thing and not face punishment?”
He closed the segment with another needling of Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the two Republicans on the House special committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection. “Liz Cheney, call your office,” he said, tongue firmly in cheek. “You’ve got another committee to empanel.”
Watch the segment above.