Trump commutes sentence for local rabbi's father

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President Trump commuted the prison sentence Wednesday of an Iowa man serving 27 years for bank fraud. In May 2008, Rubashkin was vice president of kosher meatpacking plant Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, when more than 500 federal immigration agents raided the plant and arrested hundreds of undocumented workers.

Rubashkin added that the commutation of his father's sentence was not the complete vindication that a presidential pardon would have been. Soon after his arrest, a campaign for his release was started by Orthodox Jewish groups and eventually led to support from others including more than 100 former judges, attorneys general and prominent politicians. "Mr. Rubashkin has now served more than 8 years of that sentence", the White House said in its statement, "which many have called excessive in light of its disparity with sentences imposed for similar crimes".

Trump commuted the sentence for Sholom Rubashkin, 57, after being encouraged to do so by bipartisan leaders across the political spectrum, according to a White House news release.

The raid on the Agriprocessors plant and Rubashkin's arrest led to the plant's temporary closure, with numerous town's Jews leaving.

In fact, six amicus briefs were filed with the Supreme Court supporting Rubashkin's appeal-which the court refused to touch, from 86 former federal judges and Department of Justice officials (27 federal judges, two Attorneys General, one Inspector General, two FBI directors, four Deputy Attorneys General and one Solicitor General), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Legal Foundation, 40 legal ethics professors, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and the Justice Fellowship.

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Rubashkin's sentence was widely believed to be absurdly excessive in relation to the crimes for which he was sentenced, and in relation to other crimes that are nearly never so severely punished. 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. "Additionally, more than 30 current Members of Congress have written letters expressing support for review of Mr. Rubashkin's case", Trump wrote.

"The outrage is backwards", he said, in reference to concerns the sentence was harsh.

The Coalition for Jewish Values, a rabbinic public policy organization in the US, said they too welcomed the news.

This is the first time Trump has used the executive power to commute a federal prisoner's sentence, although earlier this year he pardoned Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz.

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