‘The Late Show’ crew won’t face prosecution from June arrest

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After being arrested on the U.S. Capitol grounds in June 2022, a crew from CBS’s “The Late Show” production team will not be prosecuted, federal officials announced July 18, 2022.

The charges stemmed from a June 16, 2022, incident where the crew, who had allegedly been previously asked to leave the complex after completing scheduled interviews, were found inside the Longworth Office Building and arrested.

According to officials, the crew had been told prior to entering that policy required them to remain with a Congressional staff escort at all times, which allegedly was not the case at the time of the arrest.

“After a comprehensive review of all of the evidence and the relevant legal authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has determined that it cannot move forward with misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against the nine individuals who were arrested on June 16, 2022 at the Longworth Office Building,” the District of Columbia U.S. attorney’s office announced.

“We respect the decision,” said the U.S. Capitol. Police, which completed the initial detainment, said in a separate statement, indicating that it had been informed earlier that the U.S. attorney’s office would not move forward with prosecuting.

It is not uncommon for government officials to drop charges in cases for a variety of reasons.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not elaborate on its reasoning, but its decision could have been driven by factors such as a potential lack of any intended malice by the crew combined with a desire to not pursue a case that could end up costing time, money and court resources that could have lacked any significant results.

The charges “The Late Show” crew were facing were similar to some of the ones those allegedly involved in the Jan. 6 Capital Insurrection were facing. About a third of the nearly 800 cases filed so far have resulted in “guilty” pleas from the defendants, typically as part of a plea agreement.

After “The Late Show” arrests, some voices in conservative media attempted to compare the incident to the violent mobbing of the Capital that day, though there is little evidence to back up any comparisons beyond all of the cases alleging that an individual was present on Capitol grounds without authorization.

Those who opted out of any plea agreement have been seeing their cases work through the justice system, with guilty verdicts reached in most of them. Defendants found guilty after trial face similar consequences as those who pled guilty ahead of trial, though their sentencing could be affected by the fact they declined to accept responsibility for their alleged actions that day.

Most of the Jan. 6 cases that have been filed are backed with significant evidence of alleged violence and intent to cause harm, including surveillance video, phone data and posts from the defendants’ own social media accounts. In many cases, some of this evidence has been used to contradict defendants’ defenses that largely centered on claims that they were gathering peacefully.