Eugene Goodman, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who drew rioters away from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 attack, had redirected Sen. Mitt Romney away from the mob just minutes earlier, newly released security video played at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial showed.
“I was very fortunate indeed that Officer Goodman was there to get me in the right direction,” Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday after the video demonstrated how close he came to the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol.
Delegate Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, one of the House managers prosecuting Trump at his Senate trial, showed the new security camera video, which had no sound. It featured Goodman rushing to confront the mob — but first scrambling to guide Romney to safety.
Goodman had already been hailed as a hero after video emerged of him baiting rioters away from the Senate chamber after they breached the Capitol.
Introducing the new video, Plaskett, who is a nonvoting delegate to Congress, said there was “more to his heroic story.”
“In this security footage, you can see Officer Goodman running to respond to the initial breach,” she said.
The video shows Goodman rushing through the Ohio Clock Corridor outside the Senate chamber toward Romney, waving him to turn around and take a different path. Romney then turns and hurries back toward the Senate chamber.
Romney was in the chamber Wednesday as Plaskett played the video, and he watched intently.
He told reporters afterward that he hadn’t been aware of the identity of his guardian angel.
“I did not know that was Officer Goodman. I look forward to thanking him when I next see him,” Romney said.
That ended up happening hours later, when the two were spotted talking after the trial adjourned for the day.
“I expressed my appreciation to him for coming to my aid and getting me back into the path of safety and express my appreciation for all that he did that day,” Romney told reporters.
Asked earlier in the day whether he’d realized how close he came to the mob, he said, “No, I did not.”
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics
Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said the managers’ presentation was upsetting.
“It was obviously very troubling to see the great violence that our Capitol Police and others were subjected to. It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes. That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional,” he said.
After the video was played, Romney’s son Matt tweeted to thank Goodman for his “bravery and service.”
Five people died as a result of the riots, including a police officer.
Goodman, an Army veteran who served in Iraq before he joined the Capitol Police, escorted Vice President Kamala Harris at the inauguration.