Trump commutes first prison sentence as president and not everyone thinks it’s ‘kosher’

For the first time since taking office, President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of someone currently serving time in prison.

…but not everyone thinks it’s kosher.

Sholom Rubashkin, an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive was serving a sentence of 27 years for money laundering, had his sentence commuted after serving eight years, NBC News reported.

President Trump’s decision was “encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum, from [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi to [Sen.] Orrin Hatch,” the White House said.

Lawmakers and high-ranking law enforcement officials felt Rubashkin’s sentence was too harsh for a first-time, non-violent offender, according to NBC News.

Rubashkin ran the Iowa headquarters of Agriprocessors, a family business that was the country’s largest kosher meat-processing company. He was convicted in 2009 for submitting fake invoices to a bank to make the company’s finances appear healthier than they were to get approved for more loans.

When federal authorities raided the plant, 389 illegal immigrants were arrested.

Bob Teig, a retired prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, disagreed with commuting the sentence. Pointing to the president’s promises to get tougher on illegal immigration, he told NBC News the action “makes no sense.”

“The outrage is backwards,” he said, in reference to concerns the sentence was harsh.

While there may be concern about leniency being granted in a case where a company profited from the labor of illegal immigrants, Trump found an unlikely ally in Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

“Today Pres Trump commuted the excessively unjust sentence of Sholom Rubashkin to the 8+years he has already served. Dems & Repubs asked him to commute. He did the right thing,” the decidedly liberal Dershowitz tweeted.

Tom Tillison

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