Fox News reported Thursday that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been told that the neighbor who attacked him out of the blue on Friday will be charged with federal crimes.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, a legal analyst for Fox, said that prosecutors believe the attack, by neighbor Rene Boucher, was politically motivated, which would make it a federal crime.
“A senior adviser to the Kentucky senator says he had not talked to the suspect in years before the man ‘vigorously assaulted him,'” Fox News host Shepard Smith reported. “He also disputed reports that the senator was involved in a long-standing dispute with this neighbor, saying, ‘the first “conversation” with the attacker came after Senator Paul’s ribs were broken. This was not a “fight,” it was a blindside, violent attack by a disturbed person.'”
Boucher was in court today, making a first appearance before the judge, where he stood immediately in front of the judge’s bench next to his attorney, wearing a dark-colored suit, and pleaded “not guilty” to the one charge of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
The assault charge is being investigated by the Kentucky State Police. A spokesman told LifeZette on Tuesday that this charge could be upgraded after the full write-up of the attack is completed.
But federal charges would be brought separately, by the FBI, which has also been investigating the case.
Sen. Rand Paul was attacked on Friday while stepping off the riding lawn mower outside his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His long-time friend Rob Porter told reporters that Paul had been wearing ear protection and did not see Boucher coming. He also said the neighbor had “slammed him to the ground.”
Matthew Baker, Boucher’s attorney, told reporters that the attack involved a “very regrettable dispute.”
But Porter said the two men hadn’t spoken in several years, and that if the attack was related to a dispute, Paul was not aware of what that dispute was.
Paul tweeted yesterday that the final medical report showed he has six broken ribs, one more than originally thought, and fluid around the lungs. It was previously reported that he also has bruising on one or both lungs. He is recuperating in Kentucky, and it is unknown when he will be returning to Washington.