Trump grants clemency to an Iowa meatpacking exec convicted in a fraud case
President Donald Trump granted clemency to Sholom Rubashkin, an Iowa slaughterhouse executive convicted in a 2009 fraud case and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Trump commuted Rubashkin’s sentence, effectively cutting short the original sentence of which he served eight years.
Rubashkin is the former CEO of Agriprocessors, a large kosher meatpacking company that was raided in 2008. Federal agents arrested hundreds of people in the raid, some of whom were found to be living and working in the US illegally.
According to multiple local and national news media reports about the Agriprocessors raid, prosecutors later accused Rubashkin of falsifying financial documents which he allegedly used to secure a multimillion-dollar credit line. A St. Louis-based bank lost $27 million as a result of the fraud, USA Today reported.
Trump’s decision to commute Rubashkin’s sentence had bipartisan support, including from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, according to a White House statement released on Wednesday.
More than 100 US attorneys general, judges, and other judicial professionals signed a letter to Trump in February, pleading for clemency on Rubashkin’s behalf.
“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 read.
The statement added that Rubashkin — a first time, non-violent offender and father of 10 — was sentenced for longer than the “median sentences for murder, kidnapping, sexual abuse, child pornography and numerous other offenses exponentially more serious than his.”
Last December, a former deputy attorney general who served under President Bill Clinton wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post claiming that Rubashkin’s sentence was based on “perjured testimony and prosecutorial misconduct.
Calls for Rubashkin’s release were heightened last year after former President Barack Obama granted clemency to 231 inmates in one day.
In August, Trump granted a presidential pardon to the former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio who was found guilty of criminal contempt.