Trump Commutes Sentence of Imprisoned Kosher Meat Executive Sholom Rubashkin
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive who received 27 years behind bars for money laundering – the first time Trump has used the presidential power after nearly a year in office.
The decision to intervene on behalf of Sholom Rubashkin, who ran the Iowa headquarters of a family business that was the country’s largest kosher meat-processing company, came at the urging of members of Congress and other high-ranking officials who argued Rubashkin’s sentence was too harsh, the White House said.
Rubashkin was convicted in 2009 of financial fraud for submitting fake invoices to the plant’s bank that made the company’s finances appear healthier than they were so that it could borrow more. His prosecution came after federal authorities raided the plant and arrested 389 immigrants in the country illegally in 2008.
The 57-year-old father of 10 has served more than eight years of his sentence. In a statement, the White House said the decision, which is not a presidential pardon, had bipartisan support from leaders across the political spectrum, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT.) Trump’s action does not wipe clean Rubashkin’s conviction and leaves his term of supervised release and a restitution obligation, the White House said.
Rubashkin’s longtime attorney, Guy Cook, praised the decision, saying his client “has finally received justice.”
“The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essential a life sentence,” he said. “President Trump has done what is right and just. The unrelenting efforts on Rubashkin’s behalf have finally paid off.”
On social media, Jewish pundits and organizations welcomed Trump’s announcement, as did some of the legislators who condemned Rubashkin’s trial and sentencing as unjust.
Today Pres Trump commuted the excessively unjust sentence of Sholom Rubashkin to the 8+years he has already served. Dems & Repubs asked him to commute. He did the right thing.
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) December 21, 2017
With a profound sense of appreciation, Agudath Israel of America gratefully welcomes the news of President @realDonaldTrump’s commutation of the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin. pic.twitter.com/3GKcG2k9B4
— Agudath Israel News (@AgudahNews) December 21, 2017
It was 8 years ago after the cruel miscarriage of Justice by a corrupt Federal Judge in Iowa happened that a group of “YOELY’S” sprang into action to help #Rubashkin Yoely Reisman, Yoely Schwarts, Yoely Braver, Yoely Steinberg, Yoely Lefkowitz, Shimon Rolnitzky & Pinny Lipschitz pic.twitter.com/ZkUKmqMgmW
— Satmar Headquarters (@HQSatmar) December 20, 2017
This is a real Hanukkah miracle. I am proud to be a part of a large, bipartisan group of members of Congress who, along with over a hundred former senior justice officials, have been calling for Mr. Rubashkin’s release for the past eight years. https://t.co/nVEiuoyzEV
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) December 20, 2017