Statement On President Trump Commuting Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin's Sentence

Trump issues first commuted prison sentence

There was joyous celebration and expressions of gratitude throughout the Jewish community on Wednesday evening, at the conclusion of Chanukah, after news spread that President Donald Trump had commuted the sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin to time served. Orrin Hatch of Utah, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and three former US attorneys general.

The injustice of Mr. Rubashkin's grossly excessive 27-year sentence was readily apparent to any fair-minded individual who reviewed the facts of the case.

The White House further noted criticism of Rubashkin's sentencing as unusually harsh in comparison to penalties imposed on others for similar white-collar crimes.

The White House said the president's reviewed Rubashkin's sentence after concerns were raised by a bipartisan group, including multiple former attorneys general, as well as prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars.

"This action is not a Presidential pardon", President Trump wrote.

"I am delighted to share with you that a short while ago, the President commuted Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin's sentence". In 2009 Rubashkin was convicted of 86 counts of federal bank fraud related to loans to the company, said to be part of a complex accounting scheme to pay workers off the books.

Federal authorities raided the Postville plant and arrested 389 illegal immigrants in 2008.

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Canadian billionaire Hershey Friedman, of Montreal, purchased the meatpacking plant in 2009 and rebranded it as Agri Star Meat and Poultry. He had been sentenced to a twenty-seven year prison term, and his case appalled the Jewish community and earned condemnation from legal experts throughout the country.

The government's war on his company harmed not only Rubashkin, but caused long-lasting damage to the economy of Agriprocessors' home town of Postville, Iowa.

Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who called Rubashkin's sentence "excessively unjust", praised the decision, saying that Trump "did the right thing".

The signers included former attorneys general John Ashcroft, Michael Mukasey, Ramsey Clark and Edwin Meese III; former FBI directors Louis Freeh and William Sessions; former USA senator Joseph Lieberman; and former federal appeals court judge Kenneth Starr.

A year ago in The Wall Street Journal, a former deputy attorney general, Charles Renfrew, and a former USA attorney from Iowa, James Reynolds, wrote that Rubushkin's entire prosecution was a miscarriage of justice. The U.S. attorney's office denied the allegations.

Teig also told the Associated Press that the White House's decision "makes no sense", given Trump's vows to crack down on illegal immigration.

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