One Republican Running for George Santos’s Seat Is Also a Crook

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A candidate for former Representative George Santos’s old seat was convicted on January 6 charges after mounting an astoundingly stupid defense, according to a Department of Justice release.

Former Queens Republican Party District Leader Philip Sean Grillo was found guilty on Tuesday of one felony for obstructing the certification of the presidential election and four misdemeanors related to rioting on Capitol grounds. He has yet to be sentenced, though obstructing an official proceeding has a possible maximum sentence of 20 years.

Despite filming himself throughout the insurrection entering and exiting the Capitol building several times while shouting things like, “We stormed the Capitol” and “We shut it down,” and despite his experience in politics, Grillo testified in court that he had “no idea” Congress met inside the Capitol building.

“I’m here to stop the steal. It’s our f— House,” Grillo said in one clip.

“We f— did it! We got to the Capitol building. We f—did it! We f— did it, baby! We f— did it, you understand? We stormed the Capitol. We shut it down! We did it! We shut the mother—,” he said in another.

The court also saw videos of the local Republican official smoking weed and high-fiving rioters as he opened doors to help them flood inside the building, yelling at one point, “Our House.”

The New Yorker’s attorneys argued that Grillo “believed he was authorized to engage in the conduct set forth in the indictment,” according to legal documents.

The court didn’t buy it.

Grillo was arrested on February 23, 2021, by the FBI. He filed in May 2023 to run against Santos, whose own shady dealings have earned him a 23-count federal indictment, a scathing ethics report, and an expulsion from Congress. It is currently unclear if Grillo’s arrest will prevent him from participating in the February 13 special election to replace the disgraced lawmaker.