As much of the world awaits what bombshells the fourth day of the January 6th hearings will bring to the fore, former congressman and chair of the House Oversight Committee-turned-Fox News commentator Jason Chaffetz is more concerned that a wise-cracking hand puppet will face the full force of the law.
On Monday night, as Mediaite reports, Chaffetz chatted with Sean Hannity about how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (a.k.a. Robert Smigel) and six other members of the Late Show team were arrested for unlawful entry by Capitol Police while filming some extra material for an upcoming segment in the hallway of a Capitol office building. To Hannity and Chaffetz, this is tantamount to another insurrection (not that they’d ever call the first one that) and seems to be the equivalent of thousands of people violently shattering the windows and busting through barriers to enter the Capitol while calling for Mike Pence’s neck and leaving several dead.
“Where’s the outrage from the Democrats,” Hannity demanded to know. “Aren’t they concerned about trespassing and securing the Capitol? Or is that only when they can use it to attack Donald Trump?”
Chaffetz agreed, noting that it was a matter of “equal application of the law… If somebody breaks the law, they should be charged. On the one hand, I’m glad that the Capitol Police had the political guts to actually arrest these people. There is I think a question as to how is it that they got back into the Capitol? Once they’ve been kicked out, isn’t there a security breach for allowing them back in a second time?”
Despite the fact that we’re talking about a comedian with his hand up the ass of a cigar-chomping Rottweiler puppet, Chaffetz said he wants “to see these people prosecuted to the same degree and the same outrage that the left pretends on January 6 people.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are not the only Fox News employees to take such an extreme view of the incident. On Friday night, Tucker Carlson wanted to know “how could they not be held for a year and a half in solitary confinement without being charged?”
Colbert began his monologue by explaining what happened at the Capitol, outlining what his crew were up to, where they were and who they spoke to, emphasizing they had permission to be there. “After [the crew] finished their interviews, they were doing some last-minute puppetry and jokey make-em-ups in a hallway, when Triumph and my folks were approached and detained by the Capitol police—which actually isn’t that surprising,” Colbert continued, adding that the Capitol police were much more circumspect after the Jan. 6 insurrection last year that led to five people dying.
While Colbert stands by his staffers, he also made it clear that he understands why Capitol police are “much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago” and said that “the Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm. My staffers were detained, processed and released.”
The Late Show host also weighed in on the ongoing Fox News rhetoric that’s comparing the arrest of seven people filming a comedy bit to more than 2,000 people illegally entering a government building by any means necessary and wreaking havoc, and calling the Triumph incident its own kind of “insurrection”:
“First of all: what,” Colbert asked. “Second of all: huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol building!”
You can watch Hannity and Chaffetz discuss the incident here.