Johnson has served almost 22 years in prison as part of a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense. Kardashian had cited her case in her advocacy for sentencing reform.
“Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” the White House said in a statement. “Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates.”
“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.”
Kardashian West wrote on Twitter that “the phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget.”
She also wrote, “So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.”
She added, “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.”
Trump has issued a series of high-profile pardons since taking office, including former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and, last week, conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. He said that he was considering commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois senator serving a sentence after his conviction on corruption charges, and giving a pardon to Martha Stewart.