A man who has filed to run in 2024 for the seat held, up until last Friday, by ex-Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was found guilty of crimes related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol this week.
Philip Sean Grillo, a 49-year-old man from Queens who in May filed the paperwork to run for office in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, was found guilty of “felony obstruction of an official proceeding and other charges related to his conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol,” the Department of Justice announced in a news release this week.
Grillo, who was arrested in February 2021, was not only accused of entering and exiting the building several times — including once through a broken window near the Senate wing door — he was also accused of pushing up against police as he carried a megaphone throughout the riot and was recorded on video saying, “I’m here to stop the steal” and “it’s our fucking House!”
He also took time to get high during the attack.
“Grillo also recorded videos of himself during the riot and smoked weed inside the building. Grillo proceeded to enter and exit the Capitol three more times and can be seen in multiple instances pushing up against police officers,” DOJ said in the news release. “In another recording from his cell phone, he can be seen smoking marijuana inside the Capitol. In this video, Grillo stated, among other things, ‘Our House!’ He asks, ‘Who’s smoking grass?’ and, ‘Can I get a hit it of that s—?’ Another video depicted Grillo high-fiving other rioters after smoking marijuana inside the Capitol.”
During the trial, Grill claimed he had “no idea” that Congress met in the Capitol building — even though he is running for Congress — and his lawyers argued he was under the impression that he was allowed to behave how he did that day.
Grill hasn’t yet been sentenced so it is unclear if he will still be able to run for Santos’ seat next year. It’s also not clear if he will be a candidate in the Feb. 13 special election to fill the seat, now that Santos has been expelled.
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