The Senate has voted to give the Congressional Gold Medal to Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer who led a violent mob away from the Senate doors on January 6 as they hunted for lawmakers during the presidential electoral count.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote at the end of the day’s impeachment proceedings, noting Goodman’s ‘foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob’s rage so that others might reach safety.’
The Senate voted to award Goodman the medal – the highest honor Congress can bestow – by unanimous consent.
Goodman, 40, has also been promoted to Acting Deputy House Sergeant-at-Arms.
Senators and staff give a standing ovation to U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman
Goodman was awarded on Friday the highest Congressional honor for his bravery
Goodman was in the Senate chamber as Schumer spoke, and the entire Senate stood and turned toward him, giving him a standing ovation.
He put his hand on his heart.
Goodman has been in the chamber for much of the impeachment trial, in which House Democrats are charging that former President Donald Trump incited the January 6 insurrection.
New evidence introduced in the trial this week showed additional video of Goodman leading Republican Senator Mitt Romney to safety as he unknowingly headed toward a location where the mob had gathered.
Goodman is seen on Friday speaking with other members of the Capitol Police
Chuck Schumer on Friday led tributes to Goodman, who was in the Senate to hear proceedings
Goodman (center) is seen urging Mitt Romney (right) to turn, just as the mob comes along
Romney said Wednesday that Goodman took in a lot of bear spray and tear gas while defending the Capitol from the MAGA mob.
‘I don’t think my family or my wife understood that I was as close as I might have been to real danger,’ Romney told reporters on Thursday, after video was shown during the impeachment trial on Wednesday of him running to a safe place at the direction of Goodman.
‘They were surprised and very, very appreciative of Officer Goodman, in his being there and directing me back to safety,’ he continued.
Romney and Goodman were seen talking Wednesday after the senator saw footage for the first time of the officer getting the senator ‘out of harm’s way’ as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol.
‘I didn’t know it was him [Goodman] until I saw the video yesterday,’ Romney said on Thursday.
‘There was also a third person in the video. I don’t know who that was.’
The clip was shown on the Senate floor as part of the House impeachment manager’s prosecution of Donald Trump claiming he ‘incited the insurrection’ of the Capitol.
‘I expressed my appreciation to him for coming to my aid and getting me back into the path of safety. And I expressed my appreciation for all he did that day,’ Romney added.
Goodman is already known for his heroic acts during the storming where he was heavily outnumbered
Goodman is seen luring the mob away from the open door of the chamber on January 6
Goodman’s efforts were recognized by Kamala Harris, who on inauguration day requested that he be the one to escort her.
Goodman has not spoken publicly about January 6, but friends who have spoken with him in the days after the riot, including two fellow officers and a former colleague, told the Washington Post that he is private and reserved, and is finding the limelight ‘a little scary’.
‘He said he’d do the same thing again. He’s not looking for any accolades,’ an anonymous friend and fellow Capitol officer told the Post.
‘But the attention is a little scary for him.’
Goodman has reportedly downplayed his label as a hero telling his colleagues he was just doing his job after footage of the incident was circulated worldwide.
‘My job is to protect and serve,’ he reportedly told them. ‘And on that day, I was protecting.’
Goodman, from Southeast Washington, served in the US Army from 2002 to 2006.
He was deployed to Iraq as part of the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded a combat infantryman badge.
Goodman (right) is shown during his Army service days in an image on his Facebook