By JILL COLVIN
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive who received 27 years behind bars for money laundering. It was the first time Trump has used the presidential power.
The decision to intervene on behalf of Sholom Rubashkin, who ran the Iowa headquarters of a family business that was the country’s largest kosher meat-processing company, came at the urging of members of Congress and other high-ranking officials who argued Rubashkin’s sentence was too harsh, the White House said.
Rubashki 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. His prosecution came after federal authorities raided the plant and arrested 389 immigrants in the country illegally in 2008.
The 57-year-old father of 10 has served more than eight years of his sentence, according to the White House, which stressed the action is not a presidential pardon and does not vacate Rubashkin’s conviction.
Rubashkin’s longtime attorney, Guy Cook, praised the decision, saying his client “has finally received justice.”
“The sentence previously imposed was unfair, unjust and essential a life sentence,” he said via email. “President Trump has done what is right and just. The unrelenting efforts on Rubashkin’s behalf have finally paid off.”
Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
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