After weeks of planning, Kim Kardashian will reportedly meet with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner at the White House Wednesday to discuss the case of Alice Johnson, a 62-year-old grandmother who has been serving a life sentence without parole for a non-violent drug offense.
Kardashian has been an advocate of Johnson, who has been in prison for 21 years, since coming across her story through a video published on Mic.
“I’ve been in communication with the White House and trying to bring her case to the president’s desk and figure out how we can get her out,” Kardashian told Mic. “That’s such a huge step from where we started with that not even being on their radar.”
According to a person familiar with the meeting, Kardashian will ask Trump to pardon Johnson, who was imprisoned for drug conspiracy and money laundering, Vanity Fair writes. Johnson’s story has resonated with many criminal justice reform leaders; she’s previously shared that she became involved with drug dealers after losing her job, her son, her home, and her marriage. According to Mic, she did not sell drugs or make deals, but became an intermediary who passed along messages to those involved in the drug trade. She was featured in an ACLU campaign to end mass incarceration, and her story went viral after multiple outlets picked it up.
“I felt like a failure,” Johnson told Mic. “I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy.”
Kardashian tweeted about the Mic story back in October 2017, writing “This is so unfair.” In November, she brought in a team of lawyers to examine Johnson’s case. According to Vanity Fair, she also reached out to Ivanka Trump and was connected with Jared Kushner, who has been supportive of prison reform. According to reports, he’s been trying to pass a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that has co-sponsorship from lawmakers, including Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Sources say Kardashian will not bring the Keeping Up with the Kardashians camera crew or her publicist to today’s meeting.
Kardashian’s trip to the White House comes after her husband, Kanye West, released a string of controversial statements and tweets about supporting Donald Trump. Kardashian reportedly supported Hillary Clinton in the last election and has never publicly embraced Trump, but has suggested she is willing to work with his administration for Johnson, despite facing backlash on social media.
“I’m just focused on criminal-justice reform and helping one person at a time. And so far, the White House has been really receptive to my calls, and I’m grateful for that,” she said. “And I’m not going to stop that because people personally don’t like Trump.”
Kim Kardashian’s advocacy efforts have also included Cyntoia Brown, a young woman serving a 60-year prison sentence for killing a man she says solicited her for sex at 16.
“Where I’m at in my life right now, just like, to go and spend my money buying material things just doesn’t satisfy me the way that it used to,” she said. “To save someone’s life and do that once a year, then that would make [my] heart fuller.”