Ahead of a meeting with state leaders on prison reform Thursday, President Donald Trump has privately expressed openness to supporting broader sentencing reforms beyond the narrower reforms to the nation’s prison system that he’s previously backed, sources tell ABC News.
Trump met with Republican Sens. Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott and Chuck Grassley last week to discuss a comprehensive prison-reform bill that would address both prison and sentencing reform, according to a Capitol Hill source with knowledge of the meeting.
The source described the meeting as “positive.”
While the House has already passed a bill that would seek to make limited reforms to improve the nation’s prison system, the legislation has stalled at the feet of Grassley, the powerful Republican chair of the Judiciary Committee.
The Senate is now expected to move forward with a modified version of the House bill that will reduce the current mandatory life sentence for certain drug offenses from a life sentence to 25 years, prohibit the doubling of mandatory sentences for certain gun and drug offenses, broaden judicial discretion, and make retroactive the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act that narrowed the discrepancy in sentencing guidelines for crack versus powdered cocaine.
Grassley emerged “encouraged” that the president is supportive of a broader criminal justice reform and expressed optimism that a legislative victory is within reach.