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The Senate on Friday took a break from former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial to unanimously approve a Congressional Gold Medal for hero Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman.
Goodman led the first wave of pro-Trump rioters away from an unsecured Senate door on Jan. 6. The rioters later broke into the Senate chamber — at least two of them armed with plastic handcuffs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both spoke in favor of the award from the Senate floor.
“In the weeks after the attack on Jan. 6, the world learned about the incredible, incredible bravery of Officer Goodman,” Schumer said.
“Here in this trial, we saw a new video, powerful video showing calmness under pressure, his courage in the line of duty, his 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 medal is the highest US civilian award alongside the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has been awarded just 163 times.
All senators and Senate staff gave Goodman a standing ovation. On Saturday, they are expected to acquit Trump in a largely party-line vote of inciting the riot, which disrupted certification of President Biden’s victory and resulted the deaths of four rioters and US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
McConnell (R-Ky.) praised Goodman, saying, “Jan. 6 was a day of fear for those who work here in the Capitol and of sadness for many more watching from afar. But that awful day also introduced our nation to a group of heroes, whom we in Congress were already proud to call our colleagues.”
The Republican leader said that “if not for the quick thinking and bravery of Officer Eugene Goodman in particular, people in this chamber may not have escaped that day unharmed.”
“Officer Goodman’s actions reflect a deep personal commitment to duty and brought even greater distinction upon all his brave brothers and sisters in uniform. So I’m proud to Senate is taking this step forward recognizing his heroism with the highest honor we can bestow,” he said.
Similar legislation proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would give the award to the US Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police Department organizations.
Footage of Goodman diverting the rioters previously was published by The Post.
New security camera clips broadcast during the trial on Wednesday showed Goodman telling a wandering Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to turn around and take shelter as the rioters smashed into the building. Goodman alone confronted the rioters one floor beneath the Senate before retreating upstairs and leading the mob away from the chamber door.
Goodman led the rioters away from the unsecured door at 2:15 pm, according to security camera timestamps. Vice President Mike Pence and his family were in a room near the Senate and weren’t evacuated to a secure location until 2:26 pm.
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