Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) revealed on Monday that he recently underwent surgery to remove a portion of his lung that was injured after his neighbor assaulted him at his home two years ago.
“Unfortunately, I will have to limit my August activities. Part of my lung damaged by the 2017 assault had to be removed by surgery this weekend,” Paul said. “The doctors, nurses, [and] staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were great. I should be able to return to the Senate in September.”
The Kentucky senator told police that his neighbor “came onto his property and tackled him from behind, forcing him to the ground and causing pain.” The attack left him with six broken ribs, pleural effusion, and, consequently, pneumonia.
Rene Boucher, 59, was arrested in November 2017 after he attacked Paul outside his Bowling Green, Kentucky home. He was reportedly upset after Paul blew some leaves onto his property with his lawnmower. The judge presiding over the case referred to the attack as a “dispute between neighbors” and denied that it was politically motivated.
Boucher ultimately pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury. He was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in prison, a year of supervised release, and required to serve 100 hours of community service for the attack. Paul was further rewarded more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses.
The news comes only a week after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) faced widespread backlash for circulating a tweet that appeared to celebrate the violent attack.
Omar retweeted actor and outspoken leftist Tom Arnold on July 29 after he wrote on Twitter: “Imagine being Rand Paul’s next door neighbor and having to deal with [Rand Paul] lying cowardly circular whiney bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.”
Leading up to Omar seemingly promoting the attack, Paul had expressed his discontent with the freshman congresswoman’s frequent criticism of the country that has provided her so much since she arrived as a refugee fleeing from Somalia.
“I’ve met people who have come here from behind the Iron Curtain. They got away from communism, they’re some of the best Americans we have because they really appreciate how great our country is,” Paul said at the time. “Then I hear Representative Omar say America is a terrible place – well, she came here and we fed her, we clothed her, she got welfare, she got [schooling], she got healthcare, and then lo and behold, she has the honor of actually winning a seat in Congress.”
“And she said we’re a terrible country? I think that’s about as ungrateful as you can get,” he continued. “I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia and I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia – that has no capitalism, has no God-given rights guaranteed in the constitution, and has about seven different tribes that have been fighting each other for the last 40 years.”
“Maybe after she’s visited Somalia for a while, she might come back and appreciate America more,” Paul added.
Omar became America’s first Muslim congresswoman after winning her election in 2018. She has been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiments since, even prior to taking office.