WASHINGTON – Sen. Rand Paul announced on Monday that he was returning to his duties in Washington after spending several days recuperating from several broken ribs he suffered in an altercation with a Kentucky neighbor early in the month.
“While I’m still in a good deal of pain, I will be returning to work in the Senate today, ready to fight for liberty and help move forward with tax cuts in the coming days and weeks,” Paul wrote on his Twitter account, referring to the tax reform bill currently being studied by the upper house.
Paul, 54, also said in his Twitter message that “Kelley and I want to thank everyone once again for your thoughts and prayers for my recovery,” referring to his wife.
The junior Republican senator from Kentucky – a physician by training – said on Nov. 3 that his long-time neighbor, Rene Boucher, also a physician, tackled him from behind when he was mowing the lawn at his house, breaking six ribs and causing a pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid in the tissues that line the lungs and chest, which resulted in difficulty breathing.
On the day of the attack, local police arrested Boucher, although he was released from jail the next day after paying $7,500 bail and on the condition that he not approach within 305 meters (1,000 feet) of the senator and his family.
Last Thursday, Boucher, 59, admitted before a judge that he had entered Paul’s property and had tackled him from behind although he pleaded “not guilty” to the charge of assault, which could carry a penalty of a year behind bars and a $500 fine.
A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 30.
The charge is considered a misdemeanor, but it could come in addition to more serious charges if Kentucky police and the FBI, which are investigating the incident, find that the attack had a political motive and decide to present formal charges against Boucher.
Paul is one of the most well-known members of the liberal wing of the Republican Party and in 2016 made a short-lived presidential run in the GOP primaries.