Yesterday, Kim Kardashian met with President Trump and Jared Kushner about the fate of Alice Marie Johnson, the 63-year-old who, in the 1990s, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a first-time, nonviolent crime involving drug trafficking. The Kardashian, with her high-profile backing, spoke to the president about pardoning Johnson after serving more than two decades in prison.
Over a period of several months, Kardashian called Kushner to discuss Johnson’s potential pardon. Kushner has reportedly been working with senators on The Prison Reform and Redemption Act, aiming to reduce “prisoner recidivism risk” (read: risk that criminals will reoffend) and, as Mother Jones reported, to “encourage more inmates to participate in rehabilitative programs.”
“The message to the president is that Alice Johnson, the 21 years she has been in prison, represents a punishment that more than pays her debt to society and that to keep her prison the rest of her life is morally and economically unjustifiable,” one of Johnson’s lawyers, Brittany Barnett, told Daily Mail.
Shawn Holley, Kardashian’s attorney, tweeted prior to the Trump meeting, “I am honored to accompany [Kardashian] to The White House today to advocate on behalf of Alice Marie Johnson. Kim has spent her time, money & energy for this incredibly worthy cause. Please give credit where credit is due.”
Yesterday, as it turns out, was also Johnson’s birthday. Kardashian wrote on Twitter, “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you.”
Photo: Kim Kardashian and Trump meeting about Alice Marie Johnson
Trump shared a photo with Kardashian in the Oval Office:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Kardashian commented on the Trump meeting in a tweet posted last night. “I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon,” she wrote. “It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.”
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
She followed this up with, “We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she — and so many like her — will get a second chance at life.”
“I think that [Trump] really spent the time to listen to our case that we were making for Alice,” Kardashian told Mic in an interview after the meeting. “He really understood, and I am very hopeful that this will turn out really positively.”
“I just really strongly believe that she is someone that has completely rehabilitated herself and will continue to do so outside of prison,” Kardashian went on to say.
In a 2017 thank-you note obtained by TMZ, Johnson wrote to Kim, “I am so humbled by what you are doing and have already done on my behalf. When I spoke with Attorney Shawn Holley and she disclosed the name of my benefactor, I had to take time to process and digest the news that you were the one she had been alluding to.”
“Ms. Kardashian,” she continued, “you are literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family.”