Savannah man charged for stoking violence at Capitol on Jan. 6
Margaret Coker, The Current
Savannah political activist Dominic Box is facing four federal criminal charges of trespassing, violence and disorderly conduct at the U.S. Capitol for his alleged role in the mob that sought to overturn the 2020 election in which President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump.
The Current was the first news outlet to report on Box’s actions on Jan. 6, citing video feeds shortly after the insurrection and social media postings to the Facebook account he once ran called the Savannah Freedom Exchange. Similar posts were cited by the FBI in court documents accompanying Box’s arrest on Thursday. (see documents at end of story)
Box, originally from Joplin, Missouri, is alleged to have illegally entered the Capitol multiple times on the day of the siege and instigated disruptive and violent behavior among the mob. An FBI agent noted in court documents that the former Savannah car salesman largely confirmed the alleged illegal behavior during an interview with the agency last year that was conducted with Box’s mother present.
A U.S. federal judge released Box on a $25,000 bond on Thursday. His defense lawyer, Skye Musson said Box turned himself in voluntarily and is cooperating fully. “My client looks forward to participating actively in his defense, as he has deep respect for due process and the judiciary,” Musson said in an email.
Normally prolific on social media, Box has not commented publicly on his arrest or the indictment. On his personal Facebook page, he posted on Thursday a quote from the Book of Isaiah that references God’s help in times of trouble.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22.
Box first attracted controversy in Savannah in August 2020 as the organizer of an anti-human trafficking rally. The rally, at which QAnon slogans, symbols and signs were displayed, was attended by dozens of people, WJCL-TV reported, including U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter.
Carter later said he was unaware the rally was linked to the conspiracy theorists.
During 2020, Box became a source online for conspiracy theories, including those of QAnon, the movement that the FBI labeled a domestic terror threat the year before for its potential to incite violence. QAnon supporters propagate falsehoods about a global cabal of Satan-worshiping, anti-Trump, sex-trafficking ring of liberal pedophiles. They, along with members of the Proud Boys militia, were among those rioters caught on video during the chaos at the Capitol.
During the Jan. 6 insurrection, Box posted numerous Facebook Live videos and other social media posts of himself calling for the overturning of the results of the 2020 elections and the reinstating Trump to another four-year term.
In one such public post, Box addressed viewers as he walked towards Capitol Hill from the White House. “For those of you just joining us, President Trump has called on everybody here, over 250,000 of us, to march down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Box said. “Headed towards the halls of Congress.”
The FBI investigative report into Box’s movements on Jan. 6 says that Box entered and exited the restricted Capitol building three times, ignoring calls from the Capitol police to vacate the premises.
The investigation lists more than a dozen social media posts and livestream videos that Box took of himself, along with posts that show Box illegally wandering the halls of Congress. In one surveillance photo that appears to be taken by the close-circuit cameras inside the Capitol itself, a man who appears to be Box raises his middle finger to the camera.
Box also participated in an on-camera interview for a documentary aired by HBO about the Jan. 6 attacks. In that interview he acknowledged his presence in and around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying with a smile: “As I’m going up the scaffolding and getting to the steps, there was a kid who probably captured the emotions I was having . . I was proud to see the American spirit that was on display.”
Box remained politically involved in Georgia in 2022. Over Facebook and other social media platforms, he published political commentary in support of pro-Trump Republican candidates. Ahead of the May gubernatorial primary, Box attended a news conference at the Savannah airport held by former U.S. Senator David Perdue, who was running for governor, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Box is the second man from Coastal Georgia to face charges in relation to the Jan. 6 violence.
Guyton resident Brian Ulrich, a member of the rightwing paramilitary group called the Oath Keepers, earlier this year pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, the most serious conviction so far obtained by the U.S. officials seeking accountability for the extremist uprising that sought to disrupt the peaceful handover of presidential power in America.
In November, a jury convicted the Oath Keepers founder and leader as well as the head of the Florida chapter of the group, guilty of seditious conspiracy as well.
This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with The Current.