On Saturday afternoon, news broke that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was attacked by a neighbor (Rene Boucher) near his home in Kentucky. Initial details did not quickly surface, but Boucher was arrested and charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. It was also believed that Paul’s injuries were minor, despite him being “blindsided” by the physical attack. Now, further reports indicate that Paul won’t immediately return to Capitol Hill, for his injuries are far worse than previously believed.
Paul’s chief of staff tells the Associated Press that Paul’s injuries include five broken ribs — three of which are displaced fractures that can present severe complications (such as internal bleeding) and intense pain for several weeks. The Washington Post adds that Paul’s injuries were caused by great force:
Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief of staff, said in a statement Sunday that the senator has five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, meaning the bones are partly or completely cracked.
“This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying,” Stafford said.
Further, local Bowling Green NBC affiliate WKNY is reporting that the FBI believes Boucher’s attack may have been “politically motivated,” although the outlet doesn’t present any additional details. CBS News says that Boucher, a physician, and Paul are “acquaintances” rather than neighborly friends.
Of late, Paul has been a relatively controversial figure in the GOP’s fight to pass healthcare legislation, mostly because he publicly opposed efforts to replace and repeal Obamacare but (oddly) changed his mind and endorsed Trump’s executive order to eliminate insurance subsidies for many poor Americans. With his recovery taking place in Kentucky, GOP efforts to pass upcoming votes could hit roadblocks … even more so than usual.