IOWA
Trump commutes executive's sentence

President Trump on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive sentenced to 27 years in prison for money laundering — the first time he's 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 multiple members of Congress and other high-ranking officials who argued that Rubashkin's sentence was too harsh, the White House said.

Rubashkin 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 illegal immigrants 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 that the action is not a presidential pardon and does not vacate Rubashkin's conviction.

— Associated Press

FLORIDA
State senator quits amid accusations

A powerful Florida state senator and candidate for governor resigned Wednesday, the day after an investigation found credible evidence of sexual misconduct.

Sen. Jack Latvala (R) continued to deny any wrongdoing as he announced that he's stepping down Jan. 5, and took parting shots at Republican leaders who he said called for his resignation before he could defend himself.

Hours earlier, Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) said he should resign. That came the day after former judge Ronald Swanson issued a report that Latvala likely inappropriately touched a top Senate aide and may have broken the law by offering a witness in the case his support for legislation in exchange for sex acts.

Swanson investigated a formal complaint by Rachel Perrin Rogers, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson. Perrin Rogers accused Latvala of inappropriate touching in a Capitol elevator, at a private club and other occasions.

A former lobbyist whose name was redacted in the released copy of Swanson's report said Latvala would touch her inappropriately.

— Associated Press

NEW YORK
Man who made threats in ex's name gets prison

A former journalist from St. Louis who terrorized his ex-girlfriend and then made bomb threats in her name to Jewish groups was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison after the ex-girlfriend told the court the case shows "domestic terrorism is rooted in violence against women."

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said Juan Thompson, 32, committed domestic terrorism with threats in the name of New York social worker Francesca Rossi on a dozen occasions against Jewish community centers, schools or other facilities nationwide.

The threats came early this year, when more than 150 bomb threats were reported against Jewish community centers and day schools in 37 states and two Canadian provinces. Authorities blamed most on an 18-year-old Israeli-American Jewish hacker arrested in Israel in March.

The judge said Thompson created a sustained campaign against Rossi "to terrorize her and cause pain" to others.

Thompson, who pleaded guilty in June to cyber stalking and making fake bomb threats to a dozen Jewish facilities, apologized at the sentencing.

— Associated Press

Man sentenced in guns theft: A Wisconsin man who stole a cache of firearms from a gun shop and sent a rambling anti-government manifesto to President Trump was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison Wednesday. Joseph Jakubowski asked U.S. District Judge William Conley to either free him or execute him, saying in a profanity-laced exchange that he rejected rules and the law. Jakubowski was convicted in September of two weapons charges stemming from the April 4 theft from a gun store in Janesville that set off a 10-day manhunt.

— Associated Press