Judiciary chairman asks Colbert to leave after statement

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) asked comedian Stephen Colbert to excuse himself from a subcommittee hearing on Friday.

Conyers, during opening statements at a hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law, asked Colbert to submit his statement for the record and leave the hearing.

Colbert, who was visibly confused by the request, said that he would stay as long as the subcommittee’s chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), preferred that he stay.

Lofgren chimed in to say that she wished Colbert would stay and testify.

The comedian’s appearance has been ridiculed by some Republicans on the committee as pointless. Conyers, in his statement, praised Colbert and his forthcoming rally, but said the intense media attention might make it necessary for Colbert to leave.

Conyers formally withdrew his request shortly before Colbert began his testimony.

Updated 10:35 a.m.

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