Last November, Kim Kardashian learned about the case of 62-year-old great-grandmother Alice Marie Johnson, who is currently serving a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. Johnson has been in prison for more than 20 years for her involvement in a cocaine ring. And though this was her first offense and was a non-violent crime, she was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. But Kim used her connections to hook Johnson up with a high-profile legal team, including celebrity lawyer Shawn Holley. On June 6, it was reported by Mic that President Donald Trump granted Johnson clemency after meeting with Kim to discuss.
Kim took to Twitter to thank the president and share how "grateful" she is. According to the outlet, Johnson will be released from prison in Aliceville, Alabama.
This wasn't an easy victory for Kim to achieve. Apparently, the mother-of-three had a hard time getting her point across, because all Trump wanted to talk about was how Kanye West's positive tweets about him had helped raise his approval rating with black voters, according to Bloomberg. And it seems like the request went right over his head. He never said anything publicly about pardoning Johnson, and the very next day he did pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
However, we never would have known that from the president and star. After the meeting, Trump posted an awkward photo of himself sitting at his desk and grinning while Kim stood awkwardly besie him, looking quite serious. "Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing," he tweeted. Basically everyone had the same response to the surreal photo: "is this real life?" For her part, Kim tweeted, "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. We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she —and so many like her—will get a second chance at life."
According to TMZ, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has been in communication with White House officials, including the POTUS' son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump. Telephone calls have taken place between Kim and Jared and they have "picked up in intensity" recently, and Johnson's case was reviewed by attorneys for the White House. Her husband Kanye West's recent support of Trump probably also helped make the meeting happen.
Johnson thanked Kim in a heartfelt note previously obtained by TMZ, and said she is eternally grateful to the reality star.
“Dear Ms. Kardashian, I am so humbled by what you are doing and have already done on my behalf,” she said in the note. “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. There are no words too strong enough to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude.”
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Since Johnson has spent a large portion of her life in prison, she expressed the fact that she feels Kim is helping to save her. “Ms. Kardashian you are literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family,” she continued. “I was drowning and you have thrown me a life jacket and given me hope that this life jacket I’m serving may one day be taken off.”
Johnson didn’t stop there. She went on to compare the mother-of-three to civil rights leader Rosa Parks. "There are defining moments in history that have shaped the destiny of this nation. I believe that we are part of a defining moment. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that bus (the same year that I was born – 1955)… that was a defining moment,” she said. “This is so much bigger than either one of us. I believe that history will record that Kim Kardashian had the courage to take a stand against human warehousing and was a key figure in meaningful criminal justice reform becoming a reality.”
This isn’t the first time that Kim has used her power to help people being mistreated by the justice system. Kim joined in with other celebs in a push to free sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown. "The system has failed," she wrote in a tweet. "It’s heartbreaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better [and] do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this."