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.
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.
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)
Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.
"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."
‘He believes he’s a king and a dictator’: Ex-GOP congressman backs impeaching ‘unfit conman’ Trump
President Donald Trump was blasted on MSNBC on Saturday by a former Republican congressman for being an "unfit conman."
Rev. Al Sharpton interviewed former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) about a recent New York Times op-ed he wrote calling for Trump to face a primary challenge from the right.
"There’s a strong case for President Trump to face a Republican primary challenger," Walsh wrote. "I know a thing or two about insurgencies. I entered Congress in 2011 as an insurgent Tea Party Republican."
Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution
CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"When you watch what’s happening in Portland, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up, just given everything your family has been through?" Cabrera asked.
"My hackles don’t really go down anymore," Bro replied. "I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yeah, I think after two years ago, mine will never completely go down again."