BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — An assault of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul by a longtime next-door
Attorney Matt Baker did not say what dispute prompted the attack that stunned the Bowling Green community and left Paul, 54, with five broken ribs.
Police charged 59-year-old Rene Boucher with
Boucher and Paul have been
"The unfortunate occurrence of Nov. 3 has absolutely nothing to do with either's politics or political agendas. It was a very regrettable dispute between two
Baker said in an interview later, "This is just a profoundly unfortunate set of circumstances that I'm sure that if everyone had it to do over again, it would be done completely differently." He declined to say what might have triggered the incident, adding he thinks he has a "pretty good idea."
"I'd like to do my due diligence before I'm any more specific," Baker said.
Doug Stafford, Paul's senior adviser, called the case a "serious criminal matter involving state and federal authorities." He has said the attack could potentially lead to "life-threatening injuries."
State police asked at least one reporter to leave the gated
A friend of Paul's told The Washington Post that the senator was mowing his lawn at the time of the attack. According to an arrest warrant, Paul told police Boucher came onto his property and tackled him from behind, forcing him to the ground.
Stafford said Paul's injuries were caused by "high velocity severe force." He said it's unclear when Paul could return to work. He said Paul is in considerable pain and having trouble getting around.
Baker said Boucher didn't suffer any injuries.
Paul's absence from the Senate creates another challenge for a slim Republican majority that's caused heartburn for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. On Monday, McConnell wished his fellow Kentuckian a speedy recovery and said the GOP "need all hands on deck, all the time."
"Every day's a Maalox moment," McConnell joked, before turning serious about the ramifications of having a Republican member away from the Senate for a prolonged time.
"I've got a 52 to 48 majority, and as you saw on several occasions, we're not always totally in lockstep," he said. "Anytime we have a senator on our side who's not there, it's potentially a challenge."
Asked if he might have to delay some votes, McConnell said: "I haven't had a chance to check with him (Paul) yet today about it."
Beam reported from Frankfort, Kentucky. Beam can be reached at https://twitter.com/adambeam.