Senate’s Sweeping Criminal Justice Reform Bill Considered A Win For Trump. When Will He Collect On This One?

Written by Dana Sanchez

A bipartisan criminal justice reform bill aimed at reducing recidivism and changing mandatory minimum prison sentences passed the U.S. Senate and is headed to the House for approval before it goes to the president’s office for his signature.

It’s considered a significant victory for Donald Trump and his son-in-law, senior advisor Jared Kushner. Both deserve credit for their role in pushing the First Step legislation, said CNN commentator Van Jones.

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Criminal justice reform was one of Kushner’s major policy goals since arriving in the White House, The Hill reported.

“A Christmas miracle just happened,” Jones told CNN’s Don Lemon. “Since 1988 when George H.W. Bush put out that Willie Horton ad, both political parties then rushed to build prisons and be tough on crime. We’ve been trapped for decades now. That nightmare began to come to an end tonight.”

The Senate voted 87-12 to pass the bill — almost unheard-of these days. The bill reduces mandatory existing sentences by 53,000 years and addresses the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine.

“When there was an addiction crisis in the brown and Black communities, they said throw these people in prison,” Jones said. “Now that there’s an addiction crisis in poor white rural communities, they say give these people help. The reality is now you’ve got common pain in all these communities. Now we finally have some common purpose to begin to do a better job.”

criminal justice reform
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Jones compared First Step legislation to the 1959 Civil Rights Act which broke the logjam in U.S. civil rights and set the stage for subsequent legislation.

“This is the first step,” Jones said. “It’s not the last step. We will get to all the other issues. Donald Trump shocked me and a bunch of people by doing the right thing. He’s been wrong on 99 issues. On this issue (he’s right). Every time people made a prediction that Donald Trump was going to sell us out turn on turn on us he came harder. As a result, it is now safe for people in both political parties to speak honestly. We know this prison system is not working, sending people home bitter and not better and Donald Trump has got to get the credit.”

Twitter users found humor in thinking about Trump benefiting from the reforms he helped push.

The commander in chief may already have been served with a sealed indictment but it will only come to light once he leaves office, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano told Fox anchor Shepard Smith Monday.

“There’s ample evidence … to indict the president,” Napolitano said. “The question is do they want to do it. The DOJ has three opinions on this. Two say you can’t indict a sitting president, one says you can but all three address the problem of what do you do when the statute of limitations is about to expire. All three agree in that circumstance you indict in secret, keep the indictment sealed and release it the day they get out of office.”