US President Donald Trump has exercised his Presidential ability to reduce someone’s prison sentence for the first time today, letting off a wealthy millionaire businessman who was found guilty of fraud and money laundering. There’s a quote in “Peep Show” when Jez is gearing up to own his own pub and tells Mark, “I have the power to bar, and I won’t necessarily be using it wisely or compassionately.” Well, that’s sort of Trump’s attitude towards his power to commute jail sentences.

The man who Trump has freed from prison, Sholom Rubashkin, had been sentenced to 27 years after it was discovered by law enforcement that he had been laundering money through his Iowan kosher meat-packing plant.

He was also found to have been employing illegal, undocumented immigrants at the plant, because they’re cheaper. In fact, Rubashkin is believed to be one of the biggest employers of illegal immigrants, since a government raid of his plant in 2008 found that almost 400 undocumented migrants – some of them children – were working there.

The immigrant hiring charges were dropped after bank fraud conviction

Rubashkin’s business is his family business, and it’s the largest processing company of kosher meat in the United States – although that’s become less impressive since it turned out that all of their profits came from money laundering and fraud. The charges of hiring undocumented migrants for cheap labour were dropped by the courts system after he was found guilty of bank fraud, and that’s where the 27-year jail sentence came from (a sentence that has now been cut short by President Trump).

This is the first time in Trump’s Presidency that he has exercised his clemency power (read: the power to forgive convicted criminals). He did it because some members of Congress and a few law enforcement officials were calling for Rubashkin’s sentence to be commuted, since the way they saw it, 27 years was too much for a first-time offender whose crime was completely non-violent.

In a statement released by White House officials, they said that the President’s freeing of the kosher meat-processing tycoon from behind bars was “encouraged by bipartisan leaders from across the political spectrum.”

Rubashkin, a 57-year-old father of ten children, has already served more than eight years of his 27-year sentence, but there were still 19 years left.

It’s not a Presidential pardon, mind you. The White House was very adamant that you know that Trump was not granting Rubashkin a Presidential pardon. Instead, it’s a simple Presidential clemency. He’ll still have to pay restitution (which shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the kosher king of America, since he’s a millionaire) and finish up a term of supervised release.

Trump has only used his power of Presidential pardoning once

Rubashkin is not getting a Presidential pardon from Trump – the White House was very clear on that. In fact, the President has only used his power of Presidential pardoning just once before, to drop the charges against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose methods of border patrol to keep Mexican immigrants out could be compared to “Dirty Harry” or “The Equalizer.” Of course, that sort of behaviour is in line with Trump’s attitudes towards Mexicans.

Rubashkin’s 2009 conviction found that he had been sending in falsified invoices to the bank so that they’d think his company was doing better than it actually was and he would therefore be able to borrow more money from them. But of course, that’s not on. You’re not allowed to do that. Well, actually, you are, as long as Donald Trump is the President of the United States, because he’ll let you off.