U.S. Senator Rand Paul announced today that he is returning to work on Capitol Hill, although he is still in pain following injuries from an alleged assault outside of his home. Paul suffered six broken ribs and a pleural effusion (fluid buildup in the lungs) after he was allegedly attacked by a longtime Bowling Green, Kentucky, neighbor while he was mowing his lawn.
Paul was expected to miss a lot time from the U.S. Senate while he was recuperating at home from the November 3 attack, thereby putting the GOP legislative agenda in doubt. In a tweet today, however, the senator said that he is “ready to fight for liberty and help move forward with tax cuts in the coming days and weeks.” He also thanked supporters for their well wishes.
Initial reports suggested that the physical altercation between the two men, both of whom are medical doctors, was the result of a landscaping dispute, but others — including local residents — have cast doubt on that explanation. Paul’s office has claimed that the lawmaker was blindsided by the neighbor to whom he hadn’t spoken in years.
Rand Paul, 54, has yet to make any public comments on the incident, but he has hired a personal injury lawyer, the Louisville Courier Journal reported, which suggests that he plans to sue the other man for civil damages.
The Washington Examiner described the neighbor as an aggressive foe on social media of President Trump and the GOP. His lawyer claims that politics had nothing to do with the confrontation.
The neighbor has pleaded not guilty to a fourth-degree assault charge, a misdemeanor, and is due back in court on November 30. With the FBI investigating the incident, he could also face federal charges given that Rand Paul is a federal official. Under the current charge, the neighbor could face one year behind bars and a $500 fine if convicted. It is also possible that the state charge could be upgraded owing to the severity of the senator’s injuries. The neighbor is currently under a court order to stay at least 1,000 feet away from Rand Paul and/or his family. The court released him on a $7,500 bond.
The son of former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, is a libertarian-leaning Republican who was first elected in November 2010. He ran for president in the GOP primaries in 2016 before suspending his campaign in February of that year prior to the Iowa Caucus.
As Sen. Rand Paul’s return to the U.S. Senate after the alleged attack is a developing story, please check back for updates.
Update: Rand Paul told the Washington Examiner that he is experiencing difficulty breathing as well as talking and insisted that there is no excuse for what happened. He added that it’s been about 10 years since he had a conversation with the next-door neighbor.
“There is no motive that would justify hitting somebody from behind and breaking their ribs and damaging their lungs…My first encounter was basically being hit in the back. We’ve never had words over anything, we’ve never had a dispute or discussion or words…”
[Featured Image by Timothy D. Easley/AP Images]