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Trump Commutes Sentence of Sholom Rubashkin

by Countable | 12.20.17

What’s the story?

President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, a former kosher meat-processing executive who was convicted of bank fraud and money laundering in 2009.

Rubashkin has served more than eight years of his 27-year sentence.

Pardon or Commutation?

Unlike a pardon – which undoes the initial conviction – a commutation slashes the length of someone’s punishment.

The White House pointed out that "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."

What was Rubashkin Convicted of?

As the Des Moines Register explained, Rubashkin’s Iowa-based meatpacking plant was "raided by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in May 2008, leading to the arrests of nearly 400 Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants who were living and working in the country without authorization."

This "led investigators to suspicious invoices and other sales records that Rubashkin faked to make the company appear on better financial footing."

Why Commute Rubashkin’s Sentence?

In a statement, the White House said the decision to commute Rubashkin’s sentence was "an action encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from Nancy Pelosi to Orrin Hatch."

It also notes that 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."

What do you think?

The White House said Trump’s commutation decision was "based on expressions of support from Members of Congress and a broad cross-section of the legal community"—does it also have your support? Are you hoping for more commutations – and pardons – from Trump in the future? Have you petitioned your reps for either? Hit Take Action, let them know, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo courtesy Justice For Sholom)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(44)
  • Teddi
    12/21/2017
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    Rubashkin was charged with immigration violations but then prosecutors found he was laundering money and among the illegals working at the plant there were several underage workers. Some of the workers cited beatings. Many of the workers were imprisoned for identity fraud though Rubashkin paid for the illegal documents. His crimes resulted in at least $27M in losses—and it appears he gets out of jail because he has friends in high places. No one is denying the crime but Rubashkin objected to the length of the sentence. He still has $27M in restitution. Is this the right thing to do? If this were a black man who had committed such crimes, what is the likelihood his sentence would be commuted after serving less than a third? Just saying.

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  • Dara
    12/21/2017
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    I must have misunderstood donald trump when he said he was the law and order president, he was going to stand behind the men and women in blue. This man broke the law and trump has commuted his sentence. WOW! I don’t care what Nancy Pelosi or anyone else said. A crime is a crime. trump is nothing more than any other crooked politician, he is the swamp.

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  • Timnyc
    12/21/2017
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    POTUS pardoned rich businesses that take advantage of Americans and illegal immigrants this is shameful and disrespectful to every hard working American and a gift to more of the 1%

    Like (30)
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  • Ben
    12/21/2017
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    Trump has a special place in his heart for money laundering frauds.

    Like (22)
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  • Chips
    12/21/2017
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    The rich taking care of the rich, our country is an Oligarchy

    Like (19)
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  • Donna
    12/21/2017
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    You would think the law and order, anti-immigration of any kind, build the wall to keep those illegals out of his country president would have less compassion for someone employing 400 illegal immigrants in a probable sweatshop in Iowa. It must have been the bank fraud and money laundering charges he found less offensive and worthy of this action. Just another day in trumpville.

    Like (16)
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  • Countryfirst
    12/21/2017
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    Why should anyone be surprised..a CROOK helping a CROOK! Someone who still owes millions in restitution and beat his workers! Yeah, sounds like someone tRUMP would help.

    Like (9)
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  • gailnabity
    12/21/2017
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    This guy was hiring illegals? And beating them? Throw him out of this country for life! We don’t need his kind here! He’s more dangerous than Mexicans and Muslims for gosh sake’s. Another political payoff? He is 2nd generation Russian! Probably a buddy of DJT’s buddy Putin😡😡😡

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  • John
    12/21/2017
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    45 loves fellow money launderers & sexual predators. Is anybody surprised?

    Like (5)
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  • RadicalModerate
    12/21/2017
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    He must be on a work release program at the White House by now.

    Like (5)
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  • Gerald
    12/21/2017
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    “Oom boop boop, oom boop boop...” (circus music) With over two million people incarcerated, this is the one person who deserves to have his sentence reduced? How about the millions of African Americans in jail for minor drug offenses? Did the king feel generous at Christmas? First sheriff joe, then the turkeys at thanksgiving, now this guy who beat Hispanics. Oom boop boop...

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  • Kim
    12/21/2017
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    Read about Obama’s pardons you bunch of liberal hacks...it’s why you have no credibility.

    Like (4)
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  • NoHedges
    12/21/2017
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    I think it doesn't matter what I think because I am neither rich nor jewish, nor do I meet any of the criteria for this administration to consider me as human.

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  • Jb
    12/21/2017
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    So it's NOT okay to be an illegal alien if you're from Mexico or a Muslim but it IS okay if you're Jewish and helping people be here illegally? Someone helping people be in America illegally is just as bad as getting here on your own. #45 is an A-Class hypocrite!

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  • Ticktock
    12/21/2017
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    This is an example of our President in action. He says he wants a boarder wall, wants illegal immigration curtailed but commutes the sentence of some who was made rich on the back illegal immigration. I guess it’s OK for the rich to break the law and cook the books and different for the average citizen.

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  • Heapsy
    12/21/2017
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    So confused as to why the President has decided this man deserves a commutation while thousands of men and women are behind bars for non-violent drug crimes. Apparently, employing illegal aliens for years and beating them is an excusable crime.

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  • Leslie
    12/21/2017
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    With the information presented in this article I would have to disagree with this, the man hired illegal aliens, what portion of the sentence was due to this action? The man laundered money, what portion of the sentence was due to this?

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  • Hillary
    12/21/2017
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    Would this be the swamp drainage we heard about? Little rich boys getting away a slap on the wrist with the money that never belonged to them? That’s just sick. Mr Law and Order president lets the people robbing us out of jail, let’s the men raping women get weekend spa jail time, but he puts those poor immigrant youth in detention centers for deportation when they have done nothing wrong. This system is so deranged.

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  • Monica
    12/21/2017
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    What a surprise, with Jared as a son in law, let’s free all the financial crooks! This administration needs to be impeached and get out!

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  • Sheryl
    12/21/2017
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    Trump pardoned Rubashkin because he personally knows how easy it is to inadvertently launder money and commit bank fraud.

    Like (2)
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