President Donald Trump granted a sentence commutation to a 63-year-old drug offender whose cause has been championed by reality television personality Kim Kardashian, the White House announced on Wednesday.
Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother, has been serving a life sentence without parole for a first time drug offense, the White House said in its statement. She had already served almost 22 years.
Johnson “has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” the White House statement said.
“So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson,” Kardashian tweeted Wednesday. “Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.”
Kardashian, the wife of hip-hop mogul Kanye West, visited the White House a week ago to make the case for Johnson’s release to Trump. Trump told Kardashian during their Oval Office meeting that she and her husband were boosting his popularity with African-Americans, according to two people familiar with the matter.
About a month before the meeting West praised Trump in a tweet, claiming that he and the president “are both dragon energy.” Trump later credited the April 25 West tweet with raising his approval rating among African Americans, a group that has shown scant support for the president.
“Kanye West must have some power because you probably saw I doubled my African American poll numbers. We went from 11 to 22 in one week,” Trump said May 4 at the National Rifle Association’s annual conference in Texas, without identifying the source of the data.