A police officer who was previously hailed for his heroic actions during the U.S. Capitol riot directed Utah Sen. Mitt Romney to safety just before he came face-to-face with the mob, Democrats revealed during former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial Wednesday.
Surveillance video of the brief encounter between Romney and Capitol Officer Eugene Goodman on Jan. 6 was played as Democrats built their case against Trump during opening arguments.
The footage showed Goodman running toward the senator, warning him that the Capitol had just been breached, according to House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett. He then told Romney to turn around.
On the first floor directly below them, Plaskett said, the insurrectionists were searching for the Senate chambers.
After steering Romney toward safety, Goodman then headed toward the first floor and confronted the mob as they headed up a stairwell. The officer led them away from the Senate chambers moments after Vice President Mike Pence was escorted out of those same chambers.
Goodman then stood in front of the rioters and walked backward as the group followed him to a second-floor hallway, where other officers finally assisted him.
Congress later honored Goodman for his heroics.
Speaking during a break in Wednesday’s proceedings, Romney said seeing the images of police officers fighting off violent insurrectionists brought tears to his eyes. “That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional,” he said.
Asked about the video in which Goodman tells Romney to turn around, the senator said he didn’t know the identity of the officer before.
“I look forward to thanking him when I next see him,” he said. “I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction.”
The footage was among a series of previously unseen videos Democrats played during Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Trump, who has been charged with “incitement of insurrection,” is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office and the first to be impeached twice.
No impeachment has ever resulted in a Senate conviction, however, and — if Tuesday’s 56-44 vote on the constitutionality of the trial is any indication — Trump appears headed for acquittal again.