President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE is reportedly leaning toward pardoning a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction after meeting with Kim Kardashian West about her case.
Sources familiar with the situation told The Washington Post that Trump has been telling aides that he is “strongly considering” issuing a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, and that he could make the announcement as soon as Tuesday.
Kardashian West met Trump in the Oval Office last week to discuss prison reform and campaign for him to pardon Johnson, a great-grandmother who was convicted in 1996 on nonviolent drug and money laundering charges and has spent more than 20 years in prison.
Two unnamed sources told The Post that Trump’s top advisers are “disturbed” by the potential pardon and are pushing Trump not to go through with it. Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE is reportedly unconvinced that Johnson “deserves” to be pardoned, and White House counsel Don McGahn has said it is “unnecessary," according to the Post.
Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report Watchdog finds no money has flowed out of agency tasked by Trump admin to fight pandemic Watchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election MORE, however, has reportedly strongly advocated for Johnson’s pardon, and was also present at the meeting with Kardashian, which he helped set up.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
The pardon would be the latest in a string of high-profile pardons that the president has issued.
In the past two weeks, Trump offered a posthumous pardon for boxer Jack Johnson, and pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza. He also said that he was considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and pardoning TV personality Martha Stewart.
One White House official told the Post that Trump has become “obsessed” with pardons, and could sign more than a dozen in the coming weeks.
In recent days, Trump has also claimed that he has the power to pardon himself, raising eyebrows among lawmakers and legal experts, many of whom have pushed back on that claim.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a briefing that Trump is “not above the law,” but that he would not need to use a pardon on himself in the Russia probe because he “hasn’t done anything wrong.”
-Updated 2:57 p.m.