With the assembling of a new and powerful legal team to launch a post-conviction motion known as a “2255 motion,” family, friends and supporters of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin are hopeful that this fresh legal effort will ultimately win him justice and freedom.
Sholom Mordechai has been imprisoned for almost four years. His case, which began in 2008, has drawn an overwhelming level of support from hundreds of former Department of Justice officials, from federal judges and law professors, congressmen, and senators, as well as tens of thousands of citizens across the country who see his 27-year sentence as grossly unjust.
An attorney from the Washington-based Jones Day law firm, in an exclusive interview with Yated, said he hopes a current multi-pronged FOIA lawsuit on behalf of Sholom Rubashkin will uncover significant evidence that can be instrumental in gaining relief for him.
The lawsuit was filed by Mr. Larry Rosenberg in September 2011, in a second, much broader effort to obtain full disclosure from all four federal agencies involved in the 2008 federal investigation leading up to the Postville raid, and the subsequent Rubashkin trial.
In a brilliant, hard-hitting reply brief, attorneys Nathan Lewin and Paul Clement shredded the Government’s arguments challenging Sholom Rubahskin’s “cert” petition to the Supreme Court. The brief hammered home the injustice of the case which it says “must not stand.”
To briefly sum up the relay of legal filings to the Supreme Court:
The April “cert” petition asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling which denied Sholom Mordechai’s motion for a re-trial, and upheld the outrageous 27-year sentence.
A hard-hitting article in the prestigious National Law Journal calls the Rubashkin case “tragic and frightening,” citing chilling details of federal prosecution and trial, and saying the FOIA laws [Freedom of Information Act] failed him.
FOIA laws were meant to ensure open government and the transparency of the criminal justice system. Had the government complied with Rubashkin’s requests for crucial documents in time for his trial, revelations of misconduct on the part of the judge and federal prosecutors that emerged from ICE documents would have profoundly affected his chances of a successful appeal.
In a sign that the Rubashkin case continues to roil the highest ranks of the nation’s legal community, six amicus briefs from prestigious legal organizations and renowned legal authorities have called on the Supreme Court to grant the Rubashkin case a hearing.
The briefs are from former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, joined by 86 former DOJ officials and federal judges; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; The Washington Legal Foundation; The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers; a group of 40 legal ethics professors; and the Justice Fellowship.
President Obama’s recent nomination of Iowa U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose to serve as a federal judge has forced into the spotlight an ugly chapter—the Postville Prosecutions of 2008. The rehashing of this disturbing odyssey has cast a dark shadow over Rose as she awaits Senate confirmation.
“Rose must now meet her moral and ethical duty to publicly explain her role [in the Postville Prosecutions], and give assurances that as a federal judge she will show a commitment to justice that she seemed to lack in 2008,” David Leopold, past president of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), wrote in the Huffington Post.
The American public is finally awakening to the shocking implications of Operation Fast and Furious, and demanding accountability for a gun-walking scheme so wanton and reckless, it defies belief.
The covert operation, run under the auspices of ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), an agency responsible to the Department of Justice, encouraged gun dealers in the Southwest to sell firearms to middlemen, who then smuggled the weapons across the U.S.- Mexican border.
The idea was to track the approximately 2000 high-powered guns to the heads of Mexican drug cartels, who would then be nabbed by authorities. But the surveillance and tracking part of the plan never got off the ground.
The smuggled guns were soon in the hands of Mexican gangsters and have been turning up next to dead bodies. 1400 guns are still unaccounted for.
The scandal over the flawed Fast and Furious operation shows no signs of abetting as indicated at a Congressional hearing last week. The entire operation of Obama’s Justice Departemnt has been called into question as it has become evident that the people charged to provide and protect justice in the United States can not be trusted to perform their duties in an honest and forthright manner.
During last week’s hearing Republican lawmakers told Attorney General Eric Holder to fire Justice Department subordinates over the mistakes madeduring the botched arms-trafficking investigation or face the possibility of impeachment. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, suggested during a heated meeting of the committee that impeachment may be the only way to bring the scandal to a close if Holder and the Justice Department continue to withhold information from congressional investigators.
The attorney general, who was the sole witness at last week’s hearing, admitted that it was inexcusable for the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to use a tactic known as “gun-walking” in its effort to identify and prosecute major arms trafficking networks along the Southwest border. Justice Department policy has long prohibited the tactic.
An asifa last week in Montreal for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin drew about 2,000 people in a citywide show of solidarity unusual for Montreal.
Key speakers included Rav Shimon Zev Meisels of Kiryas Yoel, who gave an impassioned talk about the importance of achdus and pidyon shvuyim;Yated editor Rav Pinchos Lipschutz; Rubashkin attorney Mark Weinhardt; and Sholom Mordechai, who addressed the gathering from the prison in Otisville, NY, in a pre-recorded telephone call. He asked listeners, as a special zechus, to resolve not to talk during Kaddish and to answer amein with the proper kavanah.
Meir Simcha Rubashkin, son of Sholom Mordechai, before introducing his father, spoke of Sholom Mordechai’s powerful influence in keeping the family strong, and the zechus of having such a father to look up to.
Rav Yochanon Wosner, rosh bais din of Skver, opened the evening with brief remarks.
In a disturbing story of religious bigotry in heartland America, city officials in Postville, Iowa, were accused in a federal lawsuit of driving a Jewish businessman to financial ruin after years of anti-Semitic harassment and discrimination.
The case, with its potential for bringing disgrace to Postville’s elected officials, was kept out of the headlines by an out-of-court settlement finalized this week.
Gabay Menachem, a religious Jew residing in Postville, alleged that three members of the Postville City Council, City Clerk Darcy Radloff, Virginia Medberry and Jeff Reinhardt, had routinely discriminated against him and his business, GAL Investments, because of his Jewish faith.
With thousands of Americans out of work, the mood in the country is increasingly hostile toward illegal immigrants, who many say are taking jobs that Americans need.
Urged on by these sentiments, Republican legislators are pushing a controversial new law that critics say threatens farmers - and American freedoms.
The bill, about to be taken up by the House, would require employers to confirm the legal status of every applicant, using an electronic system known as E-Verify, with the aim of rooting out undocumented aliens.