Wednesday, Might 30, 2018|7:25 p.m.
WASHINGTON– Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West visited the White House Wednesday to make a star-powered case to President Donald Trump and his personnel on behalf of a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses.
Kardashian West has been advising the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, 63, who has actually invested more than two decades behind bars and is not eligible for parole.
It had been unclear whether the socialite would have the chance to take a seat with Trump while she was in Washington, however Trump validated the conference– as he often does– by means of Twitter, composing, “Terrific meeting with @KimKardashian today, discussed prison reform and sentencing.”
He consisted of an image of the two in the Oval Workplace– Trump seated behind his desk and Kardashian West, dressed in all-black, standing to his right.
Kardashian West arrived at the White Home just after 4:30 p.m. for what was anticipated to be a meeting with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior consultant, who is overseeing the administration’s push to revamp the country’s jail system. She appeared to preview the go to on her Twitter feed, composing: “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you.”
An unusual A-list star to check out the White Home considering that Trump took workplace, Kardashian West was seen presenting for photos in front of the West Wing prior to going into.
Attorney Brittany K. Barnett, a member of Johnson’s legal group, said Kardashian West had intended to discuss the problem with Trump directly. She said after the conference that she had actually sought advice from those who had attended and stated it “seemed to work out.”
” It is now in President Trump’s hands to decide whether to conserve Alice Johnson’s life,” Barnett stated.
In an interview with Mic released previously this month, Kardashian West stated she ‘d been moved by Johnson’s story after seeing a video by the news outlet on Twitter.
” I believe that she truly should have a 2nd opportunity at life,” Kardashian informed Mic. “I’ll do whatever it requires to get her out.”
Kardashian West said in the interview she ‘d been in touch with Kushner over the case and that, if she had the possibility to bring it up with Trump, she ‘d tell him, “I really do believe that she’s going to really grow beyond prison, and I would simply urge him to please pardon her.”
Trump last week given an unusual posthumous pardon to boxing’s very first black heavyweight champ, clearing Jack Johnson’s name more than 100 years after what numerous saw as a racially charged conviction.
The fighter’s pardon had actually been championed by star Sylvester Stallone, who Trump said had brought the story to his attention in a telephone call.
Trump has actually released just a handful of pardons, consisting of one for former Maricopa County Constable Joe Arpaio, a staunch campaign fan; one for Scooter Libby, who functioned as chief of personnel to Vice President Cock Cheney; and one for a U.S. Navy sailor convicted of taking images of classified portions of a submarine.
Kardashian West supported Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, throughout the 2016 election. But her other half, rap artist Kanye West, just recently used his assistance for Trump in a series of tweets, stating they both share “dragon energy.” Kardashian West safeguarded her husband when he caught flak on social networks for his tweets.
West also paid a visit to the then-president-elect in New York before his inauguration. Trump said they spoke about “life” as they posed for photos in the lobby of Trump Tower. West has said he didn’t vote in the presidential election, however if he had, he would have cast a tally for Trump.
Trump and members of his administration have actually spoken passionately in favor of prison and sentencing reform, however that has in some cases encountered Trump’s law-and-order approach, especially at the Justice Department.
Certainly, Trump has called for getting tougher on drug dealers, consisting of suggesting that some should get the death penalty.
Johnson was convicted in 1996 on 8 criminal counts associated with a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation including more than a dozen individuals. The 1994 indictment explains lots of shipments and drug transactions, lots of including Johnson.
She was sentenced to life in jail in 1997, and appellate judges and the U.S. Supreme Court have rejected her appeals. Court records reveal she has a movement pending for a decrease in her sentence, however federal prosecutors are opposed, stating in a court filing that the sentence is in accord with federal guidelines, based on the big amount of drugs involved. The United States Lawyer’s Workplace in Memphis did not immediately react to a request for remark Wednesday afternoon.
A criminal justice advocacy site, CAN-DO, and among Johnson’s attorneys state a request for clemency was declined by former President Barack Obama. The reasons are unclear.
A 1997 Associated Press story on Johnson’s sentencing said she headed up a multimillion-dollar drug ring. However Memphis attorney Michael Scholl, who submitted the most recent court files in her ask for a sentence decrease, said she was not a leader in the drug operation.
” What is the purpose of putting a girl with no previous criminal record, on a nonviolent drug offense, in jail for her entire life?” he stated in a telephone interview. “She’s a model prisoner.”
Scholl added that Johnson has actually admitted her wrongdoing, which is borne out in letters she has actually written to U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays, who now supervises her case.
” Judge Mays I’m writing to you to express my deep regret for the criminal offense that I committed over Twenty Years earlier. I made some bad choices which have not just impacted my life, but have affected my entire family,” she said in a February 2017 letter in the court record.
In a hand-scrawled letter last June she wrote: “I’m a damaged lady. More time in prison can not achieve more justice.”
Associated Press author Kevin McGill contributed from this report from New Orleans. McCartney reported from Los Angeles.