President Trump Commutes Prison Sentence of Sholom Rubashkin

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House
President Donald Trump. Photo: White House

President Donald Trump commuted Wednesday the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin. According to a White House statement, this is an action encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi to Orrin Hatch.

Mr. Rubashkin is a 57-year-old father of 10 children. He previously ran the Iowa headquarters of a family business that was the country’s largest kosher meat-processing company.

In 2009, he was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced thereafter to 27 years in prison. Mr. Rubashkin has now served more than 8 years of that sentence, which many have called excessive in light of its disparity with sentences imposed for similar crimes.

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According to the White House statement, this action is not a Presidential pardon. It does not vacate Mr. Rubashkin’s conviction, and it leaves in place a term of supervised release and a substantial restitution obligation, which were also part of Mr. Rubashkin’s sentence.

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.

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

Additionally, according to the White House, more than 30 current Members of Congress have written letters expressing support for review of Mr. Rubashkin’s case.

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Rakesh Raman