House Republicans have named the congressional aide to Rep. Jake Auchincloss, Massachusetts Democrat, who allowed TV’s Stephen Colbert’s comedy crew into one of the House office buildings after hours.
Republicans said Tuesday that Auchincloss Chief of Staff Tim Hysom was responsible for letting seven producers and staffers of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” back into the House Longworth Building last week after U.S. Capitol Police directed the TV crew to leave the complex earlier in the day.
Rep. Rodney Davis, Illinois Republican and ranking member of the House Administration Committee, said he is 100% sure Mr. Hysom is the main staffer who coordinated the events that night for the Colbert team.
Auchincloss spokesman Matt Corridoni denied that his office was involved in letting in the Colbert team.
“The congressman had a scheduled interview with CBS, as did other members of Congress,” he said in a statement. “Our contact with them ended well before the building closed for the evening. We do not condone any inappropriate activity and cannot speak to anything that occurred after hours.”
Mr. Hysom has worked for Mr. Auchincloss, a first-term lawmaker, since he took office in January 2021.
However, he worked for other Democratic members of Congress including Rep. Adam Schiff of California. He was Mr. Schiff’s district deputy director in 2011 and 2012, and also served him between 2003 and 2006, as his legislative correspondent and later a legislative aide.
Mr. Schiff is now a panel member of the select committee holding hearings related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The Washington Times reached out to Mr. Hysom for comment, but did not hear back.
Mr. Hysom also has been identified by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia Republican, as the congressional staffer who has been “harassing” her throughout the year.
According to Mrs. Greene, the Colbert show crew was following her throughout the day, later with Mr. Hysom’s help.
“When the Capitol Police threw them out, it also happened to be Congressman Jake Auchincloss’s and Tim Hysom’s staff that let them back in late at night. And you know, whose office they were going to? Mine. My office,” she said Tuesday on the House floor.
Capitol Police said they received a call about a disturbance in the Longworth Building around 8:30 p.m.
“Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway,” the agency said in a statement. “The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day.”
The Colbert TV crew was arrested and later released that night for trespassing at a House office building. The incident followed the third public hearing by the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
CBS has said that interviews conducted by Mr. Colbert’s production crew were authorized and pre-arranged through congressional offices.
However, they were previously denied congressional press credentials by the House Radio/TV gallery, necessary to gain entry into the Capitol complex, and could not obtain additional mandated credentials to cover the hearing.
Most of the criminal charges filed against the Jan. 6 rioters have been for trespassing on Capitol grounds, the same charges filed against the Colbert crew.
Mr. Colbert downplayed the incident and claimed his staff was just guilty of “first-degree puppetry.”
Congressional tours have also been the basis for Jan. 6-related accusations against Republican lawmakers.
The committee zeroed in last week on Rep. Barry Loudermilk, Georgia Republican, for leading a tour the day before the riot that included at least one person who participated in the march on the Capitol.
Mr. Loudermilk denied leading a “reconnaissance tour,” accusing the panel of a “smear campaign” that has resulted in threats against himself, his staff and his family.
“Once again, instead of contacting me directly, the committee has released carefully edited and select information to the press, with the clear intention of creating a false narrative about the visit to my office by constituents on January 5, 2021. I, my family, and my staff continue to receive serious threats of violence,” Mr. Loudermilk said in a statement Wednesday. “I hold the J6 committee members and their staff directly responsible for these unfounded accusations and threats.”