Rand Paul on his attacker: 'We've never had words over anything'

Senator Rand Paul announced he was returning to work in the Senate today, telling Reuters, “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.” The reason for the attack that left Sen. Paul with six broken ribs is still unknown. An attorney for Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, has claimed it was the result of a minor dispute between neighbors. Others have suggested it involved yard maintenance issues (though some of Paul’s neighbors dispute that). In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Sen. Paul says he hasn’t had any words with Boucher in a decade:

“Really if you told me he was doing it for some noble cause to feed starving children somewhere, there is no motive. 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,” he said, pausing often to catch his breath.

The two-term senator said that he hasn’t talked to Boucher in a decade. “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,” added Paul, who was at the Republicans’ Congressional Baseball Game practice when members under fire by a gunman angry at the GOP.

According to the arrest warrant, Boucher admitted to police that he went onto Sen. Paul’s lawn and tackled him, but last week Boucher pleaded not guilty to charges of 4th-degree assault. So far, more serious state and federal charges have not been brought against Boucher, partly because the current theory is that this attack was not politically motivated.

In any case, it appears Sen. Paul is taking the case seriously. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Paul has hired a personal injury lawyer:

After six of his ribs were broken in an alleged attack by his neighbor at his home in Bowling Green, Paul has hired Thomas N. Kerrick, a personal injury lawyer.

Kerrick’s firm confirmed Monday morning it had been hired by Paul.

Kerrick did not immediately return emails requesting further detail on the case. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 30.

Presumably, the attorney will represent Paul’s interests in the ongoing case, but he could also be preparing a civil suit against Boucher. For the moment, it remains odd that Boucher’s attorney says this was a minor dispute between neighbors but refuses to provide any details. And I’ll ask the questions I raised before. How exactly did this dispute happen if a) Paul hadn’t spoken to Boucher in a decade and b) Boucher tackled Paul from behind apparently without saying a word to warn him what was coming? Unless one or both of these men are accomplished telepaths, this story just doesn’t add up.

There may not have been words exchanged, but clearly, Boucher thought there was a dispute over something. What was that? And is it possible that his political differences with Sen. Paul played into his decision to attack even if that wasn’t the immediate issue? That still seems likely to me but I’ll wait to hear Boucher’s version of events before making a final judgment.