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)".
Rubashkin, who was manager at the Agriprocessors meat plant in Postville, Iowa, was convicted in 2009 of financial fraud for submitting fake invoices to the plant's bank that made the company's finances appear healthier than they were so that it could borrow more.
WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump commuted his first prison sentence since taking office Wednesday, reducing the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former head of a Kosher-meat processing plant convicted of bank fraud, by almost 20 years.
Despite six amicus briefs joined by numerous legal heavyweights, the Supreme Court in 2012 denied a petition from Rubashkin to look into his case and sentencing.
"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".
The commutation granted to Sholom Rubashkin, 57, marked only the second time that Trump has invoked his clemency authority as president, following the blanket pardon he granted earlier this year to Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. He still will serve five years of supervised release and restitution set as part of his original sentence.
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He has served more than eight years of his 27-year sentence.
Rubashkin's attorneys past year accused prosecutors of improperly interfering with the sale of Agriprocessors and depressing its sale price by millions.
Iowa's Sen. Chuck Grassley, Judiciary Committee chairman, did not recommend any action be taken on behalf of Rubashkin, Michael Zona, Grassley's deputy press secretary, said in a statement Wednesday. Agriprocessors fell into financial hardship following the raid and was veering into bankruptcy, forcing Rubashkin to sell it.
Court filings indicate Rubashkin tried to appeal the judgment against him as recently as this year, and a federal appeals court declined to hear the case just last week.
"Mr. Rubashkin is a devoted husband and father, a deeply religious man who simply doesn't deserve a sentence of this length, or anything remotely close to it", the letter continued.
Allegations arose during that trial that claimed some Agriprocessors supervisors harassed and had sex with female workers in a storage room at the plant.