Washington – As speculation continues about what prompted President Trump’s decision to commute Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin’s sentence on Wednesday, a video clip of an Agudah mission earlier this year to Washington D.C. has Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, crediting Utah Senator Orrin Hatch for his tremendous efforts on Rubashkin’s behalf.
Sources have confirmed to VIN News that Hatch played a key role in convincing Trump in yesterday’s stunning White House pronouncement.
Hatch was one of the featured speakers at the Agudah’s board of trustees mission to the nation’s capital which took place in March 2017. Introducing the senator, Rabbi Zwiebel describing Hatch as a prime champion of the Rubashkin case.
Hatch spoke warmly of his respect for the Jewish nation and its unique solidarity, calling the 27 year sentence handed down to Rubashkin “one of the great injustices of our time.”
Hatch pledged his continued support to the case saying, “we are working on it to this day and we are going to make sure that President Trump hears about it and will do something about it.”
After completing his remarks, Agudah communications director Leah Zagelbaum played an audio message sent to her by Mrs. Leah Rubashkin.
If by any chance you have contact with Senator Hatch, please give over a message in my name,” said Mrs. Rubashkin. “How appreciative and thankful we are for his involvement in trying to get Sholom out, and his friendship, and it means a lot to us and it’s actually keeping us going through these hard times knowing that we have such influential people that are backing for us.”
Hatch received a standing ovation for his efforts by the mission’s participants.
Chaskel Bennett, a member of the Agudah’s board of trustees later noted “everyone in that room realized instinctively that we were witnessing a historic moment.”
Hatch, a Republican, was one of Trump’s earliest supporters and shares a close personal relationship with the president. He heaped praise on Trump on Wednesday after the yesterday’s passage of his hard fought tax overhaul, describing him as “a heckuva leader” as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/2BX1w0T).
“We are going to make this the best presidency we have seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever,” said Hatch.
Trump responded by calling Hatch a “special friend of mine.”
Hatch’s office was not immediately available to comment on the matter but a tweet by the long time senator yesterday read “This is a real Hanukkah miracle.
I am proud to be a part of a large, bipartisan group of members of Congress, who along with over a hundred former senior justice officials, have been calling for Mr. Rubashkin’s release for the past eight years.”