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jh-siesta.com January 21, 2018


President Trump just commuted his first sentence - here's what we know

22 December 2017, 12:56 | Sherry Padilla

President Trump just commuted his first sentence - here's what we know

Sholom Rubashkin 57 was sentenced to 27 years in prison for 86 counts of financial crimes as well as lying on the witness stand in 2009

President Trump has commuted the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, who was serving time for money laundering and bank fraud.

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump commuted his first prison sentence since taking office Wednesday, reducing the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former head of a Kosher-meat processing plant convicted of bank fraud, by almost 20 years.

Rubashkin made national headlines nine years ago after federal agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost 400 unauthorized immigrants, including several children, who were working there.

"Mr. Rubashkin is a devoted husband and father, a deeply religious man who simply doesn't deserve a sentence of this length, or anything remotely close to it", the letter read. He was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in creating fake documents in order to obtain bank loans.

"That is why so many Congressmembers, from both sides of the political aisle, led by Senator Orrin Hatch and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and well over 100 former high ranking Justice Department officials and other legal luminaries, have been publicly calling for executive clemency".

"This action is not a Presidential pardon", the statement said. His conviction remains in place and he will be under a term of supervised release and a major restitution obligation despite being released from prison.

Prior to his sentence, Rubashkin and his father ran the Agriprocessors plant, a kosher meat-packing plant and slaughterhouse that faced "serious allegations of mistreatment of animals and employees at the plant", as reported by The Forward.


The investigation touched off a chain of events, including a bankruptcy declaration by Agriprocessors, that turned investigatiors on to suspicious invoices and other sales records that Rubashkin had falsified to make the company appear more profitable, reports the Des Moines Register.

More than 100 USA attorneys general, judges, and other judicial professionals signed a letter to Trump in February, pleading for clemency on Rubashkin's behalf.

The White House noted that Rubashkin's sentence is only being commuted and he has not been pardoned.

Last December, a former deputy attorney general who served under President Bill Clinton wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post claiming that Rubashkin's sentence was based on "perjured testimony and prosecutorial misconduct".

Attorneys for Rubashkin filed several appeals, even asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case but were denied.

More than 30 current members of Congress also submitted letters to the White House supporting a review of Rubashkin's case.



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