Staffers for Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” are off the hook after officials declined to prosecute them for illegally entering a congressional building last month while filming a comedy skit with a foul-mouthed puppet.
Capitol Police revealed on Monday that the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia decided to clear the nine employees, who were busted for unlawful entry following the botched June 16 taping that featured Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
“We respect the decision that office has made,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.
The “Late Show” associates were found by Capitol Police officers inside the Longworth House Office Building, which houses offices for members of the House of Representatives, the department told The Post in a statement last month.
The staffers — including Robert Smigel, who voices Triumph — were “unescorted and without Congressional ID” on the sixth floor of the building that was closed to the public at the time.
Capitol police said the staffers were told several times they needed to remain with a staff escort on the federal property and didn’t follow those instructions.
The US Attorney’s Office, in a statement, said it came to the decision after a “comprehensive review of all of the evidence and the relevant legal authority.”
“The individuals, who entered the building on two separate occasions, were invited by Congressional staffers to enter the building in each instance and were never asked to leave by the staffers who invited them, though, members of the group had been told at various points by the U.S. Capitol Police that they were supposed to have an escort,” the statement said.
“The Office would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these invited guests were guilty of the crime of unlawful entry because their escort chose to leave them unattended.”
The Capitol Police said in a statement, “We respect the decision that office has made.”
Days after the incident, Colbert addressed the arrests on his show, joking that the staffers committed “first-degree puppetry.”
“The Capitol Police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm,” Colbert said. “My staffers were detained, processed and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff.”