Kim Kardashian visits Trump to make clemency plea for drug-trafficking grandmother
The reality television star was also expected to meet with Jared Kushner Wednesday to seek a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time offender who is serving a life sentence.
WASHINGTON — Kim Kardashian West met the West Wing Tuesday, as the reality television superstar huddled with President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform, sentencing issues and a possible pardon for Alice Marie Johnson.
Johnson, a grandmother now in her early sixties, is more than two decades into a life sentence for a first-time conviction based on her role in a drug-trafficking case.
In part of a larger prosecution of people involved with the Colombian drug cartel Cali, Johnson was convicted on a series of charges ranging from conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute it to money laundering.
Trump took to Twitter Wednesday evening to tout the high-profile confab on an issue — prison reform — that has brought together the political right and left in Washington and around the country.
Johnson gained Kardashian West's attention after the news organization Mic published a jailhouse video in which she described how her life spiraled out of control following the development of a gambling problem: She lost her job, her marriage ended and her son died in a motorcycle accident.
"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,” she told Mic.
Whether or not she discussed Johnson's case directly with Trump, Kardashian West's trip to the Oval Office served as a signal of her commitment to obtaining a pardon given the very high-profile attention she has paid to the matter in recent months.
And Kardashian West isn't the only one asking the Trump administration for clemency for Johnson. The group Change.org has put together an online petition on her behalf, and she tops the non-profit group Can-Do's list of convicted women who deserve a reprieve.
Kardashian West's White House visit was also slated to include time with the president's son in law, Jared Kushner, whose own father served federal prison time for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and witness tampering. Kardashian West was at the White House for about an hour.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier Wednesday that the meeting would happen but declined to detail what she expected from it, and Trump administration officials did not immediately respond to NBC's request for comment on details of the reported conversation after Kardashian West and Kushner departed the White House separately.
But before her trip to the Oval Office, Kardashian West Tweeted a message to Johnson.
Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you ?????— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 30, 2018