When Kim Kardashian West appeared beside Donald Trump in the White House recently, visions of a dystopian future likely ran through the minds of many, with the image of her standing desk-side as some sort of symbol of American submission to celebrity. But Kardashian West was there to advance a political agenda— not a personal one — to persuade Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Johnson.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Johnson was serving a life sentence without parole for first-time, nonviolent drug trafficking offenses dating back to the 1990s. The case had received widespread media attention and eventually caught the eye of Kardashian West. So she reached out to Ivanka Trump, which eventually led to the meeting with Trump, where he agreed to set aside Johnson’s sentence.
Kardashian West said she witnessed “compassion” from Trump, who was quoted back in March as seeking “the death penalty against drug traffickers, where appropriate under current law.”
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“I saw a different side,” Kardashian West said to NBC News. “And I think that this is just the beginning of something greater. … The reality is people change their mind.”
Kardashian West also revealed in an interview with NBC News she has assembled a legal team to pursue clemency for other nonviolent cases similar to Johnson’s. She has already forwarded the cases of these offenders to the White House.
“This is like, ‘OK, we did this,'” Kardashian West said. “Let’s open up this conversation.”
I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
Because of Kardashian West’s activism, Johnson said “the Red Sea has opened” for possible clemency of similar nonviolent drug offenders. She said she plants to part of that campaign, and plans “on continuing to magnify this issue. I’m just an example, but I’m not the only one.”