Rand Paul has part of lung removed after 2017 assault by neighbor

Republican Sen. Rand Paul had part of his lung removed over the weekend due to complications from the 2017 assault by his neighbor.

“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. The doctors, nurses, & staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were great. I should be able to return to the Senate in September,” Paul, R-Ky., tweeted early Monday.

The surgery comes after Paul was assaulted by neighbor Rene Boucher in November 2017 while he was mowing his lawn. Paul was tackled from behind and suffered six broken ribs, including three displaced fractures. His recovery was complicated by fluid and blood around the lungs, and pneumonia.

Boucher pleaded guilty in March 2018 to a federal charge of assaulting a member of Congress. He was sentenced in June 2018 to 30 days in federal prison, and was ordered to one year of supervised release, a $10,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to have no contact with Paul’s family.

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Shortly after the attack, Boucher’s attorney told Fox News that the clash had “absolutely nothing to do” with politics, and was a dispute over something “trivial.”

Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist, said the attack was sparked because he was agitated about piles of brush on Paul's property. Boucher also claimed Paul used his lawnmower — on the same day as the attack — and blew some leaves onto his property, igniting his outrage.

Rene Boucher told authorities he had 'had enough' after Paul stacked brush onto an existing pile.

Rene Boucher told authorities he had 'had enough' after Paul stacked brush onto an existing pile. (AP)

But the senator's office disputed that version of events.

“There was no ‘longstanding dispute.’ This description is untrue,” a spokesman for Paul told Fox News in 2018. “It is impossible to have a dispute when no words of disagreement were ever spoken — neither immediately nor at any other time before the attack occurred.”

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In January, Paul was awarded over $580,000 in damages by a Kentucky jury--$375,000 of that was awarded in punitive damages, and $200,000 for pain and suffering—plus an additional $7,834 for medical expenses.

But Paul was not the only Kentucky lawmaker dealing with medical issues over the weekend. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suffered a fractured shoulder after a fall Sunday morning at his home. McConnell injured the shoulder after he tripped and fell on the outside patio of his Louisville home.

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The 77-year-old was treated and released and is working from home, according to his communications director, David Popp.

McConnell returned to Kentucky after the Senate began a five-week recess Thursday.

Fox News' Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.