Kardashian West met with Trump last Wednesday to speak about prison reform and possible clemency for Johnson; she was joined by Shawn Holley, an attorney who assembled a legal team for Johnson that’s being paid for by the reality television star.
Johnson’s daughter, Tretessa Johnson, said earlier Wednesday in an interview that “I thank her (Kardashian West) from the bottom of my heart. I truly do. I’ll never forget what she’s done.”
“And I thank President Trump also for extending the mercy choice on my mother and giving her a second chance because this is really saving her life. Because she was going to die and die in prison,” Tretessa added.
Kardashian West, in several follow up tweets, thanked Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior White House adviser, and “everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours” to the effort to free Johnson.
“I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition,” she said in a follow-up tweet.
The American Civil Liberties Union, whose lawyers helped represent Johnson in her bid for clemency, also expressed gratitude to Trump on Wednesday, and pushed him to consider commutations for others serving harsh sentences for nonviolent crimes.
“I urge the president to do the same for other federal prisoners serving extreme sentences that don’t match the offenses, while reforming our draconian sentencing laws that produce these senseless punishments,” ACLU attorney Jennifer Turner said in a statement.
A White House official told NBC News earlier that dozens of pardons have been prepared for the president and that he is considering them. There is no indication that Trump will move ahead with any of them.
The official would not disclose the names or offenses of those being considered for clemency. A commutation reduces or eliminates a prison sentence, but does not change the fact of a conviction or restore certain civil liberties, such as the right to vote. A presidential pardon, however, offers complete forgiveness for a federal crime.