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Rand Paul’s accused attacker pleads not guilty to assault

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By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – The man accused of tackling U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and breaking his ribs as he was mowing his lawn pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor assault charge, a court official said.

Rene Boucher, 59, waived the formal reading of the charge at a hearing in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken said by telephone.

Boucher, the Republican senator’s neighbor, is charged with fourth-degree assault causing minor injury, for which he faces up to a year in jail if convicted. A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 30.

Paul, 54, told police that Boucher came onto his property in a gated community near Bowling Green and tackled him from behind, the Bowling Green Daily News reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Paul said on Twitter on Wednesday that he suffered six broken ribs and that X-rays showed a pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid in the tissues that line the lungs and the chest.

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The Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating last Friday’s incident, Milliken said.

Citing unnamed sources, Fox News reported on Thursday that Paul had been told federal charges were expected in the case. The senator’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on that possibility.

Matt Baker, Boucher’s attorney, was not immediately available to comment.

Baker told Bowling Green television station WBKO that the incident was related to a property dispute and called the idea that Paul was “blindsided” an unfair characterization. Baker also told the TV station that politics was not a motivating factor in the dispute.

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Media reports have said Boucher, also a physician like Paul, had a long-running dispute with the senator.

Milliken said Boucher’s $7,500 bond requiring him to keep a distance of at least 1,000 feet (305 m) between himself and Paul remained in effect.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Paul would return next week.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney)

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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