Trump issues his first commutation of a prison sentence for man convicted of financial fraud (Details)

Credit: Left: MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP Right: AP Photo/ Andrea Melendez, Pool

On Wednesday, Trump commuted his first prison sentence. The individual whose sentence was commuted was identified as Sholom Rubashkin.

Rubashkin is the former owner of the country’s largest kosher meat processing plant. In 2009, he was convicted of financial fraud and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Rubashkin, 57 and a father of 10, had already served eight years of his sentence.

Lawmakers from both the left and the right, including GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former FBI Director Louis Freeh, argued that he was a victim of a tainted testimony and improper prosecution.

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Many of the country’s leading legal experts and four attorney generals wrote to Trump urging him that Rubashkin’s sentence should be commuted. They argued that the 27-year sentence was excessive because he is a first-time non-violent offender.

In a statement by the White House, it stated, “The President’s review of Mr. Rubashkin’s case and commutation decision were based on expressions of support from Members of Congress and a broad cross-section of the legal community.”

It continued, “A bipartisan group of more than 100 former high-ranking and distinguished Department of Justice officials, prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars have expressed concerns about the evidentiary proceedings in Mr. Rubashkin’s case and the severity of his sentence.”

The incident happened when Rubashkin was serving as vice president of Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa. In 2008, federal authorities raided the company and he was found guilty of bank fraud and money laundering. The authorities also arrested hundreds of undocumented workers during the raid.

The White House noted that the commutation is not a presidential pardon. Trump is only commuting his long sentence. Rubashkin’s conviction and terms of release will still stand. He will also be expected to pay the restitution payments.


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