WASHINGTON – A New York man was found guilty in the District of Columbia on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, 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. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Philip Sean Grillo, 49, of Queens, New York, was found guilty of five charges, including one felony, by a federal jury in Washington, D.C. Grillo was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony, and misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth will sentence Grillo on a date to be determined by the Court.
According to evidence presented during the trial, on Jan. 6, 2021, Grillo was present at the front of a group of rioters facing the police line on the West Plaza of the U.S. Capitol grounds. Shortly after he was seen on the grounds, Grillo was observed illegally entering the Capitol building via a broken window near the Senate Wing door at about 2:20 p.m. carrying a megaphone. Grillo then made his way up the stairs to the Rotunda. While ascending the stairs, Grillo was interviewed by an individual inside the Capitol, who recorded the interview on video. This individual asked Grillo, “Look at me and tell me what you’re here for?” Grillo responded, “I’m here to stop the steal. It’s our F— House!” Grillo then made his way further into the Capitol.
Grillo was then seen on surveillance video footage about 15 minutes later with a mob of rioters attempting to exit the Rotunda and gain entry to a foyer that contained doors leading outside, where more rioters were gathered. However, the rioters’ movement was prohibited by United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempting to stop the rioters’ progress. Eventually, the mob, including Grillo, forced their way past the officers and made their way towards the Rotunda’s exterior entryway doors. Grillo was among the first few individuals to get past the officers.
The mob, of which Grillo was a part, then approached the Rotunda’s exterior entryway doors, which were guarded by three Capitol Police officers. Grillo and the mob eventually pushed past the officers and opened the exterior doors, allowing numerous additional rioters inside the building. Grillo briefly went through the doors to the terrace area on the East Front of the Capitol where numerous other rioters were gathered. Grillo made several recordings of himself on his cell phone. In one recording, Grillo stated, “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..!.”
Grillo proceeded to enter and exit the Capitol three more times and can be seen in multiple instances pushing up against police officers. 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 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 U.S. House to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
Grillo was arrested on Feb. 23, 2021, in New York by the FBI.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s New York and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 35 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,230 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.