Trump commutes Alice Johnson's sentence after meeting with Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian center arrives at the security entrance of the White House on May 30

Kim Kardashian center arrives at the security entrance of the White House on May 30

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday commuted the prison sentence of a 63-year-old woman whose release had been championed by reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

Jared Kushner and Kim Kardashian West's efforts to have President Trump pardon Alice Marie Johnson were successful today, Axios reported. Johnson will be released from federal prison in Aliceville, Ala., where she has been serving her time since 1996. Michael Scholl, a member of Johnson's legal team, praised Trump for "a courageous move".

Tretessa Johnson, Catina Johnson's sister, said she always thought she'd greet her mother the moment she walked out of prison.

He has suggested he was considering acting to commute the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving 14 years in prison for corruption, and celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart, convicted of insider trading.

Working outside the pardon process usually overseen by the Justice Department, Trump has appeared to favour cases championed by friends, celebrities or conservative media, or involve people he sees as rivals. Trump has also been drawn to cases in which he believes prosecutors may have been motivated by politics - situations that may remind him of his own predicament at the center of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling.

The boxer's pardon had been championed by actor Sylvester Stallone, who Trump said had brought the story to his attention in a phone call.

"I just got off the most wonderful, emotional and awesome phone call with Alice, Kim and Alice's lawyers", Holley said. "Once Alice's family joined the call, the tears never stopped flowing". Kardashian West has been a fierce advocate for her sentence's commutation, funding lawyers and providing continual advocacy.




Then turning her talk to Kardashian, she added: "And I want to tell Kim, my angel, that you never gave up on me".

In a statement on the commutation of her sentence, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Johnson "has been a model prisoner over the past two decades". Footage from local news station WVTM-13 showed Johnson running toward her family, throwing her arms wide-open and embracing them in front of a crowd of onlookers. It said that Johnson's warden, case manager, and vocational training instructor had written letters in support of her clemency. "And in Alice's case, it is a punishment that absolutely did not fit the crime".

In an op-ed for CNN, Johnson expressed regret for her actions, writing, "I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs".

Johnson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court had denied her appeals. Kushner has been leading a push on prison reform as part of his portfolio as a senior adviser to the President.

Shawn Holley, who accompanied Kardashian West to the White House last week, says that Kardashian West was the one who told Johnson she was being released in a phone call. The reasons are unclear. The decision comes almost a week after Kim Kardashian met with him about Johnson's case.

Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a staunch campaign supporter; Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide; and a U.S. Navy sailor convicted of taking photos of classified portions of a submarine who complained that Hillary Clinton was not also prosecuted for violating security laws with her personal email server.

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