After last week's vicious assault upon U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky by his next-door neighbor Rene Boucher (initially dismissed in the media as a “trivial” dispute over landscaping issues, non-political, and involving only “minor injuries"), several of Rand Paul’s neighbors and Paul’s attorney have challenged those assertions.
Doug Stafford, Paul’s lawyer, told CNN on Thursday that the assault was a “serious criminal matter involving serious injury. This was not a fight. It was a blindside, violent attack by a disturbed person. Anyone claiming otherwise is either uninformed or seeking media attention.”
Boucher, an anesthesiologist and Paul's next-door neighbor of 17 years, has been charged with a misdemeanor, fourth-degree assault in the attack, which reportedly occurred while Paul was mowing his yard in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Paul was using earplugs, and was completely unaware of Boucher until he tackled him behind, breaking six of Paul's ribs.
Paul is also suffering from excess fluid around his lungs, and there are reports that his recovery may take months. With the Democrats and Republicans so closely divided in the Senate, this could have serious political implications for tax reform and other parts of the Republican agenda. Paul is rated the most conservative member of the Senate by the “Freedom Index” of The New American (which grades members of Congress on their fidelity to the Constitution); Boucher, Paul’s alleged assailant, has a well-established reputation as strongly anti-Republican and anti-conservative.
Earlier reports indicated that the two were almost friendly, even walking their dogs together, despite holding sharply different political views. However, Stafford disputed the assertion that they were on friendly terms. Although the two men are next-door neighbors, Stafford said they had not spoken to each other for years.
Several of Paul’s neighbors have now weighed in, challenging the narrative that the attack was the result of a landscaping dispute, which left the implication that Paul did not properly maintain his property. “The Pauls are and always have been great neighbors and friends. They take pride in their property and maintain it accordingly,” neighbor Travis Creed told Breitbart.
Creed added, “Rand has enjoyed working on and maintaining his lawn for as long as I have known him. He was attacked on his property for no apparent reason and suffered serious injury.”
A registered nurse who works with Boucher told the Washington Post that Boucher’s politics are “liberal,” and that he was “active” on social media expounding on those views. For example, Boucher posted on Facebook, “May Robert Mueller fry Trump’s gonads,” and “Impeach Trump, Impeach Pence, and Keep Impeaching.”
Another neighbor, Alicia Stivers, defended Paul’s character. “I have never heard Sen. Paul speak an unkind word about anyone, let alone become physically violent. Which makes it all the more shocking that a next-door neighbor of many years who has not so much as exchanged an email or spoken word with Rand in several years, would race downhill and pummel Rand from behind.”
Stivers, who has been part of the neighborhood association for four years, added that Paul was “attacked from behind with no warning.”
While a political motivation for the attack may not be proven, it would appear that the initial reports that it was all about some leaves is highly unlikely.
This attack, combined with the shooting of House Republican Whip Steve Scalise in June, raises some serious questions. Scalise was shot in Alexandria, Virginia, by James Hodgkinson, a strong supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders, while practicing for the congressional baseball game. Before opening fire, Hodgkinson asked another congressman present what political party they were all in. When told “Republican,” Hodgkinson began shooting, almost killing Scalise.
Now, a conservative Republican U.S. senator, simply mowing his lawn, has been attacked by yet another known left-winger. Can one imagine the response of the media if a Democratic Party member of Congress was targeted in a shooting by a known backer of, say, Senator Ted Cruz? If a Democratic Party senator was struck so hard that it broke six ribs, and the assailant was revealed to be a well-known conservative activist, would the media have dismissed it all as a dispute over tree leaves?
Yet, Boucher’s lawyer argued on Monday that the dispute was “trivial.”
When Paul’s attorney, Doug Stafford, mentioned that the charges against Boucher involved “state and federal authorities,” CNN’s report said that Stafford “did not clarify why federal law enforcement would be involved in the matter.” Perhaps it is because an assault on a U.S. congressman is considered a federal offense.
It is to be hoped that Senator Paul will make a quick and full recovery, and that attacks upon Republican members of Congress by violent left-wing supporters of the Democratic Party and its progressive agenda will not become common events.
Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images