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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Following Wednesday's White House meeting on clemency and prison reform, a few of the attendees had an impromptu discussion with President Trump about potential commutations for Chris Young and Matthew Charles, two prisoners for whom Kim Kardashian West has advocated, Judge Kevin Sharp, who attended both meetings, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump's clemency spree has slowed in the last few months, but the conversation on Wednesday reveals that he remains engaged with the topic. It also highlights the influence of Kardashian West, who was pivotal in convincing Trump to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson in June.

The details: Sharp told Axios that the "post-meeting meeting" lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes. Kardashian West, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and media personality Van Jones were all present.

  • He said Trump had done his homework on both Charles' and Young's cases from the questions he asked the group. "He obviously either read their files or read a summary that an aide had given him on their files," according to Sharp.
  • Sharped added that while Trump was "very receptive," he gave no signal as to when he might issue his next commutation — or if he will grant clemency to either individual at all.
  • The White House did not respond to Axios' requests for comment.
Who they are:

Chris Young, 30, was sentenced to life in prison by Sharp four years ago for drug-related charges. Sharp has described the sentencing, based on mandatory minimum terms, as "cruel."

  • Young is represented by Brittany Barnett, an attorney and criminal justice advocate who was present at the initial meeting.

Matthew Charles, 51, spent 21 years in prison for selling crack cocaine to an informant in the 1990s. He was released by Sharp in 2016 based on guideline changes issued by the Obama administration. But earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office appealed his release on the grounds that Charles was considered a "repeat offender." An appeals court agreed, sending Charles back to prison in March to complete his 35-year sentence.

  • Shon Hopwood, an appellate lawyer and professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center who attended Wednesday's White House meeting, represents Charles.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

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