“We’re giving Alice a full pardon. I just told her,” Trump mentioned within the Oval Office alongside Johnson on Friday afternoon. “That means you can do whatever you want in life. Just keep doing the great job you’re doing. Alice has done an incredible job since she’s been out, and recommending other people” to grant clemency.
Johnson had already served 21 years of a life sentence after she was convicted on costs of conspiracy to own cocaine and tried possession of cocaine.
“It was real justice reform,” Johnson mentioned of the First Step Act. “And it brought joy, hope and freedom to thousands of well-deserving people. I hollered, ‘Hallelujah!’ My faith in justice and mercy was rewarded. Imagine getting to hug your loved ones again. It’s a feeling I will never forget. And to think, this first step meant so much to so many.”
Johnson advised CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday afternoon that she had “no idea” she was going to be granted a pardon.
“I had idea. None. It’s almost like déjà vu from two years ago. When I woke up that morning I didn’t know that would be my last day in prison,” she mentioned.
Asked if she endorses the President, Johnson mentioned she’d prefer to proceed working with him on felony justice reform efforts sooner or later.
“You know, of course I support him as a president and last night I didn’t have a right to vote. And I still haven’t registered to vote. So, I thought it would have been a little bit hypocritical of me to not be able to vote and then say I’m endorsing,” she mentioned.
“But for me this is not about politics. This is about people and I try to really stay focused on what my mission is,” she added. “This really is not a partisan issue, criminal justice reform. It’s something that reaches across the aisle.”
Johnson additionally mentioned she didn’t understand the President to be a racist based mostly on her private interactions with him.
“They have a right to feel what they feel, but for myself, I really don’t see that in him,” Johnson mentioned.
This is the second pardon the President has granted this week.
Ponder’s pardon was taped on the White House and rebroadcast through the RNC.
The record contains a number of orders absolving mates and conservative politicians of their crimes, together with clemency for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, conservative creator Dinesh D’Souza and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik.
More just lately, Trump commuted Roger Stone’s jail sentence, after Stone, a longtime buddy and former Trump adviser, had been convicted of crimes that included mendacity to Congress partially, prosecutors mentioned, to guard the President.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman Jeremy Diamond and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.
This story has been up to date with feedback and background.