Rand Paul's revenge? Why the Kentucky senator may have the last laugh after assault

Rand Paul may be trying to play up his neighbor's politics — because that could mean federal charges

Published November 10, 2017 12:57PM (EST)

Rand Paul (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Rand Paul (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

It's still unclear just why Sen. Rand Paul's neighbor allegedly attacked him last Friday but the Kentucky politician is exacting an interesting form of revenge by promoting the idea that Rene Boucher was politically motivated.

From numerous interviews that various media outlets have done with neighbors of both men, it does appear that Boucher, a retired physician who lives alone, is a hardcore Democrat and opponent of President Donald Trump. According to Boucher's lawyer, Matthew J. Baker, the attack "has absolutely nothing to do with either's politics or political agendas."

That may or may not be true, but it makes sense that Boucher and his client would say such a thing. If Paul were attacked because of his political views, Boucher could face charges for assaulting a member of Congress — which carries up to a year imprisonment. Boucher has already been charged in state court with fourth-degree assault, a crime punishable by up to a year in jail.

Federal authorities are already investigating the matter. As it is, there have been conflicting explanations of what Boucher's motives were with anger about Paul's yard maintenance being offered by the defense. Both the Washington Examiner and Breitbart News published pieces on Wednesday strongly pushing back against the lawncare explanation. Paul has retweeted them on his official account.

Several Republican politicians have been targeted for violent attacks in recent months, including Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot while attending a softball event for GOP members of Congress.

In a Wednesday tweet, Paul said that he had suffered six broken ribs and a pleural effusion.


By Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

MORE FROM Matthew Sheffield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Rand Paul Rene Boucher