Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) could be absent from the Senate for a prolonged period of time after being assaulted at his home in Bowling Green, KY on Friday afternoon.
The senator suffered five fractured ribs, three displaced fractures and lung contusions from the assault, according to Paul’s senior adviser Doug Stafford.
“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 in a statement.
Stafford added that such “fractures can lead to life-threatening injuries” and features “severe pain that can last weeks to months.”
Paul’s neighbor, 59-year-old Rene Albert Boucher, confessed to “going onto Paul’s property and tackling him.” Paul had alleged that his neighbor “tackled him from behind.” Boucher was released from jail after posting a $7,500 bond.
Paul and Boucher have reportedly been feuding for a while over reasons unknown. The FBI reportedly believes that Boucher’s assault on Paul was “politically motivated.” Boucher is registered as a Democrat.
However, Boucher’s attorney issued a statement saying that the assault had nothing to do with politics:
The Kentucky senator tweeted out his gratitude for the support he’s received:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted that Paul’s absence could complicate Senate proceedings.
“I’ve got a 52 to 48 majority, and as you saw on several occasions, we’re not always totally in lockstep,” said McConnell. “Anytime we have a senator on our side who’s not there, it’s potentially a challenge.”
Paul was one of the Republican congressional members present at the July shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, VA, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot by James Hodgkinson.