Did Trump Commute Jewish Exec's Sentence Under Lobbyists' Pressure?

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President Donald Trump granted clemency for a Jewish executive who was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 27 years in prison but has only served eight.

America’s collective eyebrows are raised following President Donald Trump granting clemency to Sholom Rubashkin, an Iowa slaughterhouse executive who was convicted back in 2009 for fraud and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

According to Business Insider, Trump commuted Rubashkin’s original sentence which he has served only eight years of. Rubashkin, 57, is the ex-CEO of Agriprocessors, a big kosher meatpacking company that was busted back in 2008. During an FBI raid, agents arrested hundreds of people, including many who were living and working in the United States illegally.

Rubashkin was also later accused of falsifying financial documents that he allegedly used to obtain a multimillion-dollar credit line. As a result of the fraudulent activity, a St. Louis bank lost $27 million.

Trump’s decision to commute Rubashkin’s sentence goes against all of the xenophobic rhetoric he touts about keeping immigrants out of America because they are so-called criminals, yet he's commuting the sentence of a convicted criminal who employed illegal immigrants. 

According to NBC News, Bob Teig — a former prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa who retired in 2011 — said Trump granting clemency to Rubashkin “makes no sense,” considering the president’s vows to get tougher on illegal immigration.

Trump's shocking decision even had bipartisan support, including that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).

Additionally, more than 100 attorneys general, judges, and judicial professionals signed a letter to Trump back in February calling for clemency for Rubashkin.

“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 reportedly read.

The statement also noted that Rubashkin was a first time, non-violent offender and father of 10 who was sentenced to serve more time than the “median sentences for murder, kidnapping, sexual abuse, child pornography, and numerous other offenses exponentially more serious than his.”

However, according to Teig, every court that reviewed Rubashkin’s sentence at the time of his conviction had concluded it was fair. He also suggested that former Justice Department officials and lawmakers who supported leniency for him were not fully aware of all the details of the case.

The blatant hypocrisy behind this decision only gives credence to the notion that lobbyists have our politicians in their pockets. Pressure from Jewish lobbies was clearly the driving force behind this suspicious move. 

Upon his release, Rubashkin has received support from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community, which held a celebration inside its main synagogue following the big news.

“We are all celebrating because a great man was released from jail. Now that he’s free, everyone is rejoicing, people not even knowing him,” said Meyer Malinas, 15, from Borough Park, outside Chabad headquarters.

This entire ordeal raises so many questions:

  • Is Trump backpedaling on his immigration stance, or do his views only apply to Muslims and Mexicans?
  • Is Trump appeasing the Jewish community at the behest of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner?
  • Is it pure coincidence that the timing of the clemency of a big-time Jewish figure aligns with Trump’s attempt to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel?

One thing we know for sure is that this decision demonstrates the shameless hypocrisy and lack of transparency happening within our government. 

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Getty Images, Chicago Tribune 

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