‘The Republican Messiah’: New York GOP leader arrested over US Capitol riot

FBI tipped off about Philip Grillo by two people who have known him for decades

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 24 February 2021 01:10
Police captain offers grisly new details of Capitol riot at first official hearing on insurrection
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Another self-styled saviour of the GOP, who hails from Donald Trump's "hometown district", was arrested for allegedly participating in the riot at the US Capitol.

Philip Grillo, 46, is listed as the Republican party's leader in the 24th Assembly District in Queens.

He is facing charges of unlawful entry and attempting to obstruct Congressional proceedings after two witnesses tipped off the Federal Bureau of Investigation, based on a jacket seen in CNN footage with the logo of the Knights of Columbus group in Queens.

On his Facebook page, Mr Grillo describes himself as "The Republican Messiah - Republican State Committeeman, 24th Assembly District, Queens NY. President Trumps Hometown District".

“I’m truly upset,” Mr Grillo’s mother told CNBC.

According to the arrest affidavit, one of the tipsters knew Mr Grillo from their childhood growing up in Glen Oaks, New York, while a second witness said they've known each other for decades from attending the same schools.

“I saw him twice in CNN in two separate incidents,” the first witness said.

Surveillance footage from the Capitol allegedly showed Mr Grillo enter the Rotunda and join a group of rioters that pushed open a door that Capitol Police were trying to push closed.

The Department of Justice alleges that Mr Grillo was seen in a YouTube video among the crowd engaged in a "physical confrontation" with uniformed offers as people shouted "fight for Trump".

"Grillo was near the front of the crowd. The crowd, including Grillo, was eventually driven back from the door when officers employed a chemical irritant," the affidavit alleges.

The FBI submitted multiple photos they say show Mr Grillo entering the US Capitol through a broken window about 2:30 pm on 6 January holding a megaphone.

The arrest documents say that Mr Grillo posted a video of Donald Trump's to his Facebook page captioned: "WE WILL WIN!", along with a brief video saying to "believe in the impossible".

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