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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

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 6 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

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