A man who is running for former Rep. George Santos’s (R-N.Y.) seat was found guilty of charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Philip Sean Grillo of Queens, N.Y., was found guilty of five charges, including one felony, and convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony and misdemeanor of entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, the Justice Department released Wednesday.
Grillo is running to replace Santos after he was removed in a historic vote last week, ending his 11-month tenure in Congress, making him the sixth lawmaker ever to be ousted from the House. Santos was booted from Congress weeks after the House Ethics Committee’s report found substantial evidence that he committed serious federal crimes.
Nineteen people have declared their candidacy for the Long Island seat, Grillo being one of them. Days after Santos left office, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced the special election to replace him would be Feb. 13.
Grillo, a representative for Assembly District 24, has yet to be sentenced, but according to evidence presented at trial he was “at the front of a group of rioters facing the police line” on the West Plaza of the Capitol. He entered the building through a broken window and carried a megaphone.
Someone stopped Grillo inside the Capitol, where he said, “I’m here to stop the steal. It’s our F—ing House,” according to the Justice Department. Grillo made several videos on his phone, including one showing him smoking marijuana inside the Capitol.
During his trial, Grillo said he had no idea that Congress met inside the Capitol, despite admitting he is running for the congressional seat, according to the Department of Justice release. The FBI arrested him on Feb. 23, 2021, in New York.
Since the insurrection, more than 1,230 people have been charged in crimes related to breaching the Capitol. More than 440 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, the Department of Justice said.