Democratic lawmaker whose staffer reported Colbert crew to Capitol Police mum on dropped charges

Rep. Jamaal Bowman says he is "happy that no one was seriously hurt" during the incident in which the TV crew was warned "several times" against trespassing on Capitol grounds, according to police, prior to arrest for unlawful entry.

Updated: July 31, 2022 - 10:07am

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New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, whose staffer called Capitol Police to report the Stephen Colbert TV crew in a Capitol Hill office building, said he is "happy that no one was seriously hurt" in the incident but declined to comment on prosecutors not pressing charges.

According to Capitol Policethe nine-member Colbert crew was warned "several times" against trespassing on Capitol grounds and were ultimately arrested for unlawful entry. The charges were dropped by the same U.S. Attorney's office that prosecuted many of the Jan. 6, 2021 rioters. 

"I haven't been following the case that closely, so I need to take a look at that, so we'll take a look at why they weren't charged," Bowman said on Capitol Hill Thursday. "I'm just happy no one was seriously hurt because, you know, a few scary things have happened in the office buildings this cycle and at the Capitol, as you know. I'm just happy that it wasn't more serious and no one was hurt."

Bowman was asked what he is going to do more digging on with respect to the case.

"I'll take a look at the details for sure, but, you know, we have a sergeant at arms and law enforcement that looks at that stuff, and I trust the work that they do here for the most part," he said. "So I'll take a look myself."

The Capitol Hill office buildings have been closed to the general public since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only individuals with an appointment can enter, and even those only with a Capitol Hill staff member as an escort. Bowman was asked if he thinks the office buildings should reopen to the general public now.

"Yeah, I mean, listen, as long as the security concerns are taken care of, sure," he said. "It's just, you know, very scary because there are consistent threats to the Capitol, to the office buildings and to members of Congress. So we've just got to make sure that all the safety concerns are taken into account."