President Trump commuted Alice Johnson’s sentence after meeting last week with reality-TV star Kim Kardashian to discuss the 63-year-old great grandmother, who served 21 years of a life sentence for a first-time drug offense, CNN reports.
Kardashian, who has reportedly been working for months with Jared Kushner on Johnson’s behalf, met with Trump last week at the White House to ask that she be pardoned.
“While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance,” the White House said in a statement announcing the commutation.
Trump reportedly considered pardoning Johnson, prompting a rift in the White House as some advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn, were concerned a pardon would appear arbitrary and driven by Kardashian’s celebrity.
Trump “really spent the time to listen to our case that we were making for Alice. He really understood, and I am very hopeful that this will turn out really positively,” Kardashian told Mic after the meeting.
Kardashian first became aware of Johnson’s case through a documentary, released in 2013 by Mic, which chronicled the African-American woman’s experience serving 21 years in federal prison for drug-conspiracy and money-laundering convictions.
“I saw your video,” Kardashian told Mic. “If you think about a decision that you’ve made in your life and you get life without the possibility of parole for your first-time nonviolent offense, there’s just something so wrong with that.”
After viewing the documentary, Kardashian conscripted her personal legal team to defend Johnson.
The socialite mogul, who is married to Trump-supporting rapper Kanye West, celebrated the victory immediately after news of the commutation broke.
BEST NEWS EVER!!!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 https://t.co/JUbpbE1Bk0
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
Johnson will now be released from from federal prison in Aliceville, Ala., where she has been incarcerated since 1996.