Trump commutes former Agriprocessors manager Sholom Rubashkin's prison sentence

Trump commutes former Agriprocessors manager Sholom Rubashkin's prison sentence

Trump commutes former Agriprocessors manager Sholom Rubashkin's prison sentence

President Donald Trump on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of a former Iowa meatpacking executive who employed hundreds of illegal aliens and was convicted on fraud and money laundering charges stemming from an investigation by immigration authorities.

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.

He was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in creating fake documents in order to obtain bank loans. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the plant in May 2008 and arrested almost 400 Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants who were living and working in the country illegally. It cited bipartisan support for the action from legislators, including Rep. Steve King of Iowa, and former Department of Justice officials. He still will serve five years of supervised release and restitution set as part of his original sentence.

On Wednesday, students at Chabad yeshivas everywhere burst in song and dance after the White House had announced that President Donald Trump commuted the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, a move supported by leaders "from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) to Orrin Hatch (R-Ut)".

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Trump's commutation of the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, 57, marks his first commutation and the second use of his clemency powers since taking office, including his controversial pardon earlier this year of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Immigration charges against Rubashkin were dismissed after federal prosecutors determined that a conviction on the charges would have no impact on his sentence.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 refused to hear an appeal contesting Rubashkin's sentence, which his lawyers argued was excessive for a first-time, non-violent offender.

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".

The case sparked an outcry from members of the legal and Orthodox Jewish communities who rallied to Rubashkin's defense. "President Trump has done what is right and just". Robert Teig, a former federal prosecutor in Iowa, said that Rubashkin's sentence "was what he earned because of his conduct" and that "it's a sad state when politics are allowed to interfere with the justice system". Joe Lieberman of CT and ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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