Breaking News: Rubashkin Judge Exposed for Being Closely Involved With Prosecutors

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rubashkin1Breaking News: CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – New documents produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade met frequently with the law-enforcement team that was actively engaged in the planning of the May 2008 raid on the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant and participated in preparations for the raid. On this account, Judge Reade should have been legally disqualified from presiding at the federal trial of Sholom Rubashkin.

Judge Reade was required to disclose these meetings and her participation to defense lawyers, but the judge did not make any such disclosures before presiding over the trial last year. The evidence shows Reade was not only provided with regular briefings on the raid preparations for more than six months before it occurred, but that she expressed her “support” for the raid, and directed that she be briefed on how it was to be carried out.

“The government’s own memoranda show that more than six months before the raid, Judge Linda Reade began a series of meetings in which she collaborated with the law-enforcement team that prosecuted the case against Sholom Rubashkin,” said Nathan Lewin, lead appellate counsel for Sholom Rubashkin. “Without disclosing to defense counsel her meetings with the U.S. attorney and the support she expressed for the raid, she presided at Mr. Rubashkin’s trial, and then immediately had him imprisoned, and sentenced him to two years more in prison than the prosecution requested.”

In light of the new revelations, attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin filed a motion for a new trial Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Rubashkin was sentenced in June 2010 to 27 years in prison for bank fraud and related charges. Prosecutors had sought a 25-year prison term.

“Under federal law, as authoritatively interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Reade was required to disqualify herself from serving as the judge in Mr. Rubashkin’s trial or, at least, to make a full disclosure to the defense lawyers so they could decide whether to file a motion for recusal,” Lewin said. “The jury’s verdict must, on this account, be vacated, as well as Judge Reade’s decision to deny release on bail to Mr. Rubashkin.”

The government documents and e-mails were provided to Rubashkin’s counsel after the trial concluded, although their Freedom of Information Act request was filed in February 2009, more than eight months before his trial began. The government did not initially respond to repeated letters and calls from Rubashkin’s counsel seeking the FOIA documents, and Rubashkin’s attorneys eventually sued the Department of Homeland Security to procure the information.

The documents reveal that Reade began meeting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October 2007, and advised law enforcement officials of her vacation schedule so that the raid would meet her “scheduling needs.” She also said in January 2008 she was “willing to support the operation in any way possible.” In March 2008, Reade participated in a meeting that discussed “an overview of charging strategies, numbers of anticipated arrests and prosecutions, logistics, the movement of detainees, and other issues related to the [Agriprocessors] investigation and operation.”

According to one e-mail, Reade made specific requests for a “final gameplan” to be submitted to her about one month before the raid took place. She also “requested a briefing on how the operation will be conducted.”

“What can be learned from the redacted memoranda about Judge Reade’s participation in the planning of the raid on Agriprocessors may be only the tip of the iceberg,” Lewin said. “But even this tip is sufficient for an objective observer to doubt the perception of impartiality.”

The documents also show Sholom Rubashkin was the primary focus of the investigation before the raid. In a PowerPoint presentation describing the planned raid – which may well have been displayed to Judge Reade during one of her “briefings” – ICE identified Mr. Rubashkin as the “Vice-President of the company,” and noted its belief “that one or more company officials may have knowledge of criminal conduct on the part of the company and may even be culpable themselves.” In a separate memorandum written in advance of the raid, ICE explained that on the day of the raid, it would “execute a criminal arrest warrant” against a “corporate official.” Mr. Rubashkin was not ultimately arrested on the day of the raid, but he is the only “corporate official” arrested, and therefore was probably the subject of that memorandum and discussions with Judge Reade. Under federal standards, those ex-parte conversations would be grounds for recusal of a judge.

Rather than disclosing her attendance at, and active participation in, planning meetings, either to the defendant or his attorneys, Reade rejected a related defendant’s recusal request and claimed she had only been engaged in “logistical cooperation” with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who planned the May 2008 raid on Agriprocessors.

“Judge Reade’s apparent attempts to minimize her participation in the raid raise new suspicions and bolster doubts about Judge Reade’s impartiality in circumstances that are particularly worrisome,” said Lewin. “Under federal law a judge is disqualified, whether or not actually biased, if the average person on the street, knowing all the facts, would question the judge’s impartiality.”

Representatives of the Department of Justice and ICE also concealed Judge Reade’s participation in the raid planning to members of Congress. In a hearing in July 2008 before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren asked law enforcement officials what information was provided to the federal court in Iowa and “what measures were taken to ensure that the court’s view of the cases would not be affected and that judicial neutrality would not be compromised?” Deborah J. Rhodes, a senior associate deputy attorney general, responded that Judge Reade was only given a “heads up” for “logistical reasons.” She did not acknowledge that Judge Reade was given briefings and “updates” on various substantive matters, as well as the fact that the raid was coordinated around Judge Reade’s “scheduling needs” and that Judge Reade had expressed her willingness “to support the operation in any way possible.”

As part of its motion for a new trial, Rubashkin’s attorneys have requested that Judge Reade transfer the motion to another judge for determination, “in order to preserve public confidence in the impartiality of the judicial system.”

Members of the Rubashkin legal team will participate in a media conference call this afternoon to discuss the new information. Details are forthcoming.


  1. As part of its motion for a new trial, Rubashkin’s attorneys have requested that Judge Reade transfer the motion to another judge for determination, “in order to preserve public confidence in the impartiality of the judicial system.”

    You think?! This lady is a disgrace to the legal system and a disgrace to humanity. They should use her as the statue for Helen Thomas.

  2. Reade should be defrocked or whatever the term is and fired from her job. This was collusion and she knew about it. What a disgrace. Utter shame.

  3. Kudos to Nat and Alyza Lewin and the other lawyers for bringing this to light. Though I had heard about this long ago and never understood why it took so long to come about. Keep up the pressure on the Feds. These prosecutors are low life scum.

  4. There was never impartiality. They were going after this JEw with everything they had
    they were out to make him into the worst criminal in history

  5. We can’t stand to be reminded that we are in golus. We can’t stand to be reminded that most nations of the world detest us and have no use for us. but here it is clearly.

  6. The whole thing was too fishy and well planned. And then this witch signed off on the raid and got the whole thing in motion. too easy, too calculated.

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  8. I would like to see copies of the documents. Were there any electronic communications, such as emails or text messages, if not, were they requested ?

  9. To Amare Stoudemire in Kollel (#15):

    What shaychus? What are you talking about? We know we are in golus. This whole case has shown that. Are you the mashgiach around here to give us mussar?

  10. Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is a tzaddik. May Hashem hear and answer his entreaties in the zchus of his many, many chassodim, his kindness, his goodness.

    Our hearts and minds are with him.



    You are the strongest people in the world and father who has a heart of gold! The Emunah floating around is utterly fascinating!

  13. BARUCH HASHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We must continue davening!!!

    Hahoras hatov to Rabbi Pinchos Lipshitz for all of his efforts!!

  14. ???? ??? ??? ???? ????, ??????? ??? ???? ??. ??????? ????, ?? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????????????. ?? ?? ???????

  15. Comment # 13 and #40 have links in them, those links are false links, I tried it and my software sais “Fatal link” I hope these wont make other computers crash. Please Check it out Matzav. I hope you check all links…

  16. ME KAAMCHA YISRAEL!!!!!! What wonderfful news about the histadlus and work, massive amount of Tehillim said on behalf of Reb Sholem Mordechai Hacohen ben Rivka. May Hashem bless all who strive to do and achieve any work on behalf of Reb Mordechai Shalom. May H’KBH grant him to be matzliach I’YH and to be free. Amen!

  17. One of the main points Mr. Bob Borr made in Lakewood was to educate ppl through posting positive comments online on this site and specificly on mainstream media websites that have news about rubashkin. we must raise awareness so the ppl in power will feel the heat. I am sure they see the comments on this site too…

  18. To donate money, just click on the Rubashkin ad on the right side of the screen. Or maybe Matzav can put a link above like they do on various Rubashkin stories.

  19. May this I’YH be the road to freedom for Reb Sholom Mordechai ben Rivka. May Reade be stripped of her title and she should be put on trial and get a taste of her own medicine!

  20. Wait a minute chevra how are the liberals, The Forward, and those who claim that judge Reade “went according to the guidlines” going to spin this? or will they just not report this?

  21. This news made my day because I was waiting for a pesach, a yeshuah, something to break because this story nwas too crazy. we always suspected that reade was involved. it just had to be, and now we see this. As the Medrash says, the Bnei Yisroel wen

  22. Reade should be barred from presiding over any trial in the future. Actually, she should be tried for not being honest about her involvement and covering up documents. Why didnt she? That is a new scandal in itself.

  23. “????? ?? ??? ???? ???”. , ????? ????? ????? ???: ????????? ??????????? ??????? ???? ?????? ?????????? …

    Now we know why. Because otherwise we end up with corrupt, sick, weasels judges like Machsheifah Reade.

  24. i hope she the judge and the prosecuter gets the same she gave for Rubashkin 26 years i think they should change sides lock up the judge and the prosecuter and rubashkin go free

  25. Editor: Please correct comment #47.

    The correct name is R’ Sholom Mordechai HaLeivi ben Rivka. May he merit a complete yeshua very soon!

  26. ask for a miss trail and everything should be dimiss and let smr sue the feds for u know why we have no money.thanks to the feds and judges like reade

  27. And I should not call her an anti-semite? Why not?
    And I should not call her a Jew-hater?
    Why not?
    And we should not email this beast lest we upset this two legged animal!
    Why not?
    Liar that she is.
    Thief that she is.
    Beast that she is.
    Low-life, good for nothing that she is.
    Shame on you Linda Reade.
    Do you think for one minute you could pull the wool over our eyes?
    You never thought anyone would expose the truth about you, you liar.
    You never thought Rubashkin would stand a chance; you would dump him into jail for 27 years and get away with it? And we would keep quiet? You corrupt big shot.
    You should be put in jail instead!
    You never dreamed that Rubashkin would come up with enough money to defend himself? Well, we are not finished with you. Money will not be an object in this case. Sorry, Linda.
    You beast! Rob Sholom him of his life. Kill his business. Kill his family.
    And I should not call you any names?
    Why not??
    Shame on you!!. Shame on this country that allowed you to be the judge when in fact you should be in shackles instead.
    Remember what I said from the beginnning: The corruption starts from the top and works its way down! Get it??

    Yes, we are living in a malchus shel chesed. No doubt. But there are alot of powerful liars with sleazy tongues out there at the helm. And you all know who I mean besides this Reshante. Let THEM all rot.

  28. Remember: Rav Chaim Kanievski and Rav Steinman both said this is bonafide pidyon shvuyim so everyone get a cheilek. this is real.

  29. I just came home from work and saw this story. Wonderful news, but I hope that it does indeed result in what we all want: a new, fair trial, or for Sholom to just be let out.

  30. The venomous hate in these posts is astounding. Perhaps posters ought to educate themselves a bit about the rules of judicial ethics and bias before they declare Judge Read biased and call for her to be disrobed, disbarred, and thrown in prison for 27 years.

    Note: Under Federal law, a judge is obligated to recuse herself if presiding over a case gives even a reasonable perception of bias, but ethical violations such as these do not speak to the merits of the prosecution’s case itself. We might like to consider that even if the motion for a new trial is granted, the outcome of the second proceeding is likely to be the same, and in any case it is likely that Rubashkin will sit in prison for the interim.

    Legal ethics are extremely complicated, and the law with respect to recusal for judicial bias is in a state of flux. In fact, Federal law provides for a judges “duty to sit,” which means that a judge must resolve questionable cases of bias on the side of presiding over the case.

    Lets not impose our own morality on others, and learn about the issues at hand before jumping to spiteful conclusions.

    By the way, it is unlikely that many posters on this have actually studied choshen mishpat, but I have been studying for smichah in this field, and it is pretty clear from the Tur (siman 7) and Shulchan Aruch (siman 7), as well as the nosei keilim there, that Judge Read would not have been pasul to hear the case due to bias or prior involvement with the case according to halachah. – SOMETHING TO CONSIDER –

  31. Matzav, keep up the pump, keep up the coverage. You guys have been with Sholom M all the way. Keep it going. You protected him when he was beat up and others claimed he wasnt. You guys are true tzadikim. Kol hakovod on everything you are doing for our brother and the money you have raised for him
    we envy your reward

  32. I don’t know if the olam realizes but this is really big news beyond the Rubashkin case, because what this judge did is beyond the pale. It reeks of bias and prejudice and she could pay consequences.

  33. to #71 You mean self-hating liberal Jewish lawyer.

    Sorry, I will listen to Nat lewin before I would listen to your apologetic dribble.

  34. This revelation
    is being reported
    in all the big media
    outlets, so mayeb it
    will create the
    attention that
    can help the
    effort to help
    Of course there
    is only One
    Power running
    the show. But
    I refer to
    hishtadlus efforts.

  35. From the beginning, I had heard that the judge was the one that signed off on the raid. Sounded like she had an ax to grind, or a point to prove right from the beginning. But this sort of over-involvement?!

  36. #76:

    Talk about bias . . . you do realize Mr. Lewin is Rubashkin’s attorney, and has a legal and ethical obligation to push all bounds to further his client’s interests. I am certain Mr. Lewin is doing his job admirably, as would I where I in his position (and I would be honored to do so), but his statements certainly cannot be taken as entirely objective. Indeed, if Lewin where acting objectively and impartially, I would strongly urge Rubashkin to get himself a different lawyer.

  37. This lady Reade calls herself a judge, Avi Weiss calls himself Orthodox, Amare Stoudemire calls himself a frum Yid, and I call myself Napolean! Big deal! Is there any value in what anyone says?! Reade is a big laughing joke.

  38. To add some insult:

    From the Des Moines Register:
    Seven members of the team that prosecuted Sholom Rubashkin and other former employees at Agriprocessors Inc. have won a national award from U.S. Agiculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack recognized the group with the Secretary’s Annual Honor Award, during a ceremony Tuesday in Washington D.C. The Honors Award is considered the most prestigious accolade given by the USDA, prosecutors said in a statement. The award reflects efforts to revitalize rural communities, conserve national resources, and promote agricultural production.

    To add some truth:

    Nat Lewin (lawerying) and (publishing) – This is their job. They make money this way. I am not doubting their sincerity. I just do not know if they are as such. I work in a funeral home. I don’t love dead people. They just pay the bills.

  39. To comment #81 Comment from Jewish Lawyer
    Mr. Lewin is a noted and famed attorney who has argued numerous times before the supreme court. He would never – I repeat never – claim something he didn’t think was accurate, as it would tarnish his reputation.
    Furthermore if you know anything about Mr. Lewin, he champions cases that he passionately believes in, and the Rubashkin case is just one more example. Anyone who heard his speech in Boro Park realizes that this is not just “another case” for Mr. Lewin, and would also understand just how passionate he is about this cause.
    So I would definitely listen to an admirable individual like Mr. Lewin before listening to……….

  40. # 73. Why are the venemous hates in this post so disturbing? We should be waving banners in the street about this atrocity. We should be protesting in front of her home. This is a Judge? This is a shame to society.
    I don’t need to study choshen mishpat to have a good nose and a simple brain. This Reade did total illegal things, and the deeper Rubashkin’s attorneys did into this case, the more they will learn, that Reade’s main goal was to capture and torture a Jew under the pretense of justice!!
    Yes, I am angry, and if you are not; then there is something wrong with you; not with me.

  41. While hopefully this is good news for Mr. Rubashkin, I believe that your headline is misleading. The meetings were not unlawful. The fail to disclose the meetings is the issue. From what I know, the judge was required to disclose the meetings so that the defense can enter a motion for the judge to recuse themselves. This did not happen and is one of the strongest points for an appeal.

  42. A disgrace to society. Hope she gets what she deserves. She must have very low self esteem and is most likely very insecure. Domineering ganster.The courtroom gives her a chance to show her power.
    May she and all the prosecutors in this trial fall hard— with the help of Hashem.

  43. I am puzzled by the knee-jerk postings found here. Many of them sound more like cat-calls at a baseball game than anything else. If they represent a cross-section of the Jewish community, they do not speak well of it.

    America, for all of its drawbacks, has been termed by our Gedolim for years, as a Malchus shel Chessed. There were gatherings on behalf of Rubashkin but the speakers did not voice the kind of racuous, hate-filled, malicious comments that are voiced here. In fact, the comments made are reminiscent of the kind of drivel that is made by our enemies in the Muslim world. I am waiting for comments like “Death to Reade”. So far the comments are like verbal “tire-burning” and “window-smashing”.

    We must remember that we are Jews. We need not react and respond to events and circumstances in a gentile manner. We need not take our cues from them. We need some “shimush chachamim”, especially in a public forum where everyone can read what we write and how we write it. Perhaps everyone should pay a visit to their local rabbi, take a little of their time, and obtain some tips of how to respond to gentile behaviour that affects us.

    May Sholom Rubashkin experience the “tzad zechus” and may the corruption in the world cease wherever it is found.


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