Sep 5, 2018

Kim Kardashian joins White House discussion on pardons, prison reform

Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

At a meeting with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and others at the White House Wednesday, Kim Kardashian West talked about her recent visit to a women's prison, where she met a woman who had been given a life sentence at the age of 14 for killing someone as part of a gang initiation, Koch Industries general counsel and Freedom Partners chair Mark Holden, who attended the meeting, tells Axios.

The big picture: Kushner arranged the meeting as a follow-up to President Trump's invitation for people to suggest prisoners worthy of pardons. Kardashian West reached out to Kushner afterward to see if Trump was serious, a source familiar with the conversation tells Axios' Jonathan Swan.

More from the discussion, according to three sources at the meeting:

  • Advocates at the meeting discussed ways to "fix the broken clemency system" to ensure worthy candidates get a fair review, according to Cut50 cofounder Jessica Jackson.
  • They also talked about prison and re-entry reform. Kardashian West discussed how helpful in-prison therapy had been for the woman she talked to at the penitentiary. She agreed with other advocates that there should be increased incentives for people in prison to better themselves while there.

Between the lines: Some criminal justice reform advocates feel the Justice Department has too much control over which clemency candidates make it to the president's desk. They see it as a conflict of interest that the same agency which hands out sentences also oversees which prisoners deserve to be considered for clemency.

  • Shon Hopwood, an appellate lawyer and professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center who attended the meeting, pointed to Alice Marie Johnson as an example: "She had been denied three times by the Obama administration — why was that? Part of the reason is there is a conflict of interest within the DOJ."

Be smart: While Kushner seems to be looking for ways to improve the system and Kardashian West has proven to be a powerful advocate for the issue, Trump has been impulsive so far with his pardons.

Go deeper: "The Pardon Game": Trump's Celebrity Edition.

Go deeper

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy