Seven Armed Guards Escorted Comedian Colbert Through Congressional Office Building

By Nicholas Ballasy | September 24, 2010 | 3:44 PM EDT

( - When comedian and cable television personality Stephen Colbert exited a hearing room inside the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. today, he was escorted through the hallways of that secured building--that no one can enter without first going through a metal detector--by seven armed Capitol police officers.

The phalanx of police officers took Colbert past a group of reporters seeking to ask him questions. Entertainment-industry celebrities visiting the Capitol usually have a security escort, but Colbert's large contingent of police officers was unusual. By contrast, members of the U.S. House and Senate routinely move around the Capitol complex without guards and are open to questioning by the press.

This has been true even of the most famous members of Congress, such as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. 

The police officers escorted Colbert out the main doors on the main level of the building, where a car was waiting to drive him away.

Colbert, host of the popular “Comedy Central” television show “The Colbert Report,” testified in character about migrant farm workers before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration.

The Capitol Police press office has not responded to a request from to explain how it was decided that Colbert would be escorted by so many police officers and what the normal protocol is for determining who gets an armed escort inside the Capitol complex.