Tim Profitt, the former Rand Paul county coordinator who stomped on a MoveOn activist’s head outside the final debate of the Kentucky Senate race in October, finally got his day in court yesterday. And though Profitt didn’t say much, his lawyer told reporters that the notorious video of Profitt’s foot crushing down on MoveOn activist Lauren Valle actually shows Profitt had been subject to a smear campaign.
Profitt appeared in a Lexington, KY court and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the incident, which briefly defined the Kentucky Senate race before Paul, the Republican nominee, won in a landslide Nov. 2.
The court was packed with folks trying to catch a glimpse of the Kentucky Stomper, according to reports from the ground. And though Profitt’s been willing to discuss the incident before (like that time when he blamed a bad back for stepping on a woman that was being held down on the ground,) in court and afterward he kept his mouth shut.
His lawyer, however, laid out a defense to the charges that partly hinged on the video that got Profitt in trouble in the first place.
“Admittedly if you look at the video on the internet and TV and don’t see anymore than what was shown it looks like he may have gone out of line,” attorney Michael Dean told reporters. “But if you look at the rest of the video of what she was doing before hand and get the whole story, I think you will see my client is justified.”
Dean’s defense plan is not so different from the one mounted by Paul supporters in the immediate wake of the stomping. They pointed to Valle’s paid role with MoveOn and a video showing her trying to get a picture with the now Sen.-elect right before the stomping to suggest that Valle was a paid agitator who helped instigate the incident.
After the incident, Valle told TPM the opposite was true — Profitt and other Paul volunteers on the ground recognized her, she said, and set out to physically remove her from Paul’s path that night.
Profitt’s lawyer is so sure of his defense he intends to take the misdemeanor case to a full jury trial. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7.
Watch Dean discuss his plan to defend Profitt with Lexington’s WKYT-TV: