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Kim Kardashian West championed Alice Johnson's cause at the White House last week. Photo: The White House

President Trump has signed a commutation for Alice Johnson, currently serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, according to a source with direct knowledge. The Washington Post first reported last night that he had been considering pardoning Johnson.

The details: Johnson's cause was championed last week at the White House by Kim Kardashian West. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who pushed for Johnson's pardon, had been in contact with Kardashian West over the past several months on the issue. Per a source familiar, White House counsel Don McGahn is skeptical of the merits of pardoning Johnson.

The big picture: This is part of a broader effort led by Jared Kushner to highlight the issue of prison reform — particularly focused on nonviolent offenders.

More about Johnson's crime, per Mic, who first reported on Kardashian West's conversations with Kushner: “Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 1996 for her role facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee.”

  • “Johnson told Mic that she initially became involved in drug trafficking due to significant financial hardship after a string of unfortunate events in her life. She lost her job at FedEx due to a gambling addiction, her son was killed in a motorcycle accident and her marriage ended in divorce.”

The context: Trump has been on a high-profile clemency spree, issuing several pardons, including former sheriff Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, boxing champion Jack Johnson, and right-wing pundit Dinesh D'Souza.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Johnson's sentence was commuted — rather than receiving a full pardon.

Get more stories like this by signing up for Jonathan Swan's weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

Go deeper

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.