Guy Running for Santos' Old Seat Guilty of Jan. 6 Charges

Philip Sean Grillo was filmed smoking weed inside the US Capitol on Jan. 6
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2023 2:00 AM CST
Guy Running for Santos' Old Seat Convicted on Jan. 6 Charges
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., faces reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 30, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

One of the people running to replace George Santos, who just became only the sixth lawmaker to ever be booted from the House of Representatives, has his own controversial past: Philip Sean Grillo was found guilty this week of charges related to his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol. He's among the 19 people who have so far declared their candidacy for the seat, the Hill reports, but as NBC News explains, he filed as a candidate for the seat before Santos' expulsion—meaning he's running in the general election next November, but it's not clear whether he'll be a candidate in the special election to replace Santos that's being held in February.

Grillo is a former Republican district leader in Queens, Axios reports. He was convicted of five charges including felony obstruction of an official proceeding and has not yet been sentenced. An interesting line from the Department of Justice release regarding the 49-year-old's conviction: "During trial, the defendant testified that he had 'no idea' Congress met inside the Capitol building, but also admitted that he is running for election to the US House to represent New York's 3rd Congressional District." Grillo said on January 6, "I'm here to stop the steal. It's our f---ing House," and "We f---ing did it, baby! ... We stormed the Capitol. We shut it down!" He was also filmed smoking marijuana in the Capitol. (More George Santos stories.)

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