WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The Senate 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 Jan. 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 entire Senate rose in a standing ovation for him and all other Capitol officers for their efforts before Goodman was presented the medal.
“I think we can all agreed that Eugene Goodman deserves the highest honor Congress can bestow, Schumer said. “I want to be clear that he was not alone that day, the nation saw and has now seen numerous examples of heroic conduct of the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police, the SWAT teams that were with us on January 6 here in the Capitol protecting us. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to each and every one of them.”
Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. The first recipient was George Washington. Over the years, the medal has been presented to military leaders, authors, athletes and civil rights icons.
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 Jan. 6 insurrection.
On Wednesday, Democrats revealed new footage of Goodman leading Republican Sen. Mitt Romney to safety as he unknowingly headed toward a location where the mob had gathered.
“I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction,” Romney told reporters later.
After the Senate voted to award Goodman their top honor, the 18th Airborne Corps congratulated their alum, showcasing side-by-side pictures of him serving in Iraq in 2005 next to a photo of him during the Capitol riot.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after the attack, one of five people to be killed. More than 70 officers with the U.S. Capitol Police were injured.
Wearing a suit and tie and a mask with a blue line, Goodman stood inside the U.S. Senate chamber this week, watching as the footage was shown of his efforts to save lives.
Goodman became a national hero after video shot by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic showed his response to rioters climbing the stairs near an entrance to the U.S. Senate chamber. With no other officers to be seen, he takes a half step to his left at the top of the stairs, then walks to the right, away from the chamber. The mob follows him into a room where other officers wait.
The trial wrapped up for the day Friday night and will resume Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.