After recovering at home last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is back on Capitol Hill — and he’s not staying quiet about his attack.
What did he say?
Paul told the Washington Examiner there was no justification for the attack, which happened Nov. 3 while he was mowing his lawn. The alleged attacker, Rene Boucher, is Paul’s neighbor and was arrested on fourth-degree assault charges. Paul said he didn’t really understand what provoked Boucher.
“From my perspective, I’m not really too concerned about what someone’s motive is. I’m just concerned that I was attacked from the back and somebody broke six of my ribs and gave me a damaged lung where at least for now I have trouble speaking and breathing and now I’ve hurt for 10 days,” Paul said.
“Really if you told me he was doing it for some noble cause to feed starving children somewhere, there is no motive,” he added. “There is no motive that would justify hitting somebody from behind and breaking their ribs and damaging their lungs, so no, there is no justification for something like that.”
Paul announced his arrival to Washington on Twitter Monday afternoon. He returned for what will be a busy few weeks for Congress.
Did Paul even know Boucher?
According to the two-term Kentucky senator, Boucher was a relatively unknown neighbor.
“My first encounter was basically being hit in the back,” he said. “We’ve never had words over anything. We’ve never had a dispute or discussion or words.”
What else did Paul say?
Paul confirmed “there is going to be a criminal prosecution,” but according to the Examiner, Paul was extremely cautious about discussing the case.
However, Paul explained he is doing better.
“I’m about 10 to 11 days out. Physically I’m in less pain. I just am still having trouble completing sentences because I have to get enough air to expel so there is a little difficulty going still with breathing,” he said.
In the attack, Paul suffered six broken ribs, scratches on his face and he had a build-up of fluid around his lungs.
What about Boucher’s charges?
Boucher was initially charged with just fourth-degree assault because Paul’s injuries were believed to be minor.
However, prosecutors told Paul last week that he should expect federal charges to be filed against Boucher, likely meaning that the attack was politically motivated. And because of the extent of Paul’s injuries, Boucher’s state assault charge could be upgraded to a felony.
According to NBC News, Boucher could be facing 20 years in prison when all is said and done.
The lawyer for Boucher, 59, said politics was not the cause. Social media posts from Boucher show that he is aggressively anti-Trump and anti-Republican.