Thanks to Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump Just Got a Grandma Out of Jail
Need to get something done? Considering calling Kim Kardashian.
One week after the Keeping Up star met up with President Donald Trump to seek clemency for Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who has served almost 22 years of a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense, the former Celebrity Apprentice host decided to honor Kardashian’s request and pardon Johnson.
The White House released a statement on Wednesday explaining his decision. “Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades,” the statement read. “While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.”
Kardashian didn’t get a shout out in the release, but her voice definitely sparked this move. She’s been working with her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, to seek justice for Johnson, whose only option to be released was clemency, a special pardon that could only be granted by POTUS. It was previously denied under the Obama administration.
The makeup mogul even got to tell Johnson the good news herself. “The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories. Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget,” she tweeted, calling it the “BEST NEWS EVER!!!!” and sharing that she wants to keep fighting the fight.
On Thursday, Johnson responded alongside her daughter, Catina Scales, in a live Today show interview from Memphis. “I know that it was a miracle. I know that only God could have touched Kim Kardashian’s heart like that. And we have connected. She said she felt something when she saw and heard my story and I’m just so thankful for it. I can’t explain it, it’s a miracle," she said, explaining what's next for her. “I want to take this chance to try to magnify what has happened with me so that people will remember there are other people just like me who are first time, non-violent offenders who pose no safety risk to their communities.”
After first coming across Johnson’s story last fall, Kardashian has aggressively spoken out about prison reform, going as far as to meet with Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, also an advisor to the president, to discuss Johnson’s case. In addition to visiting the Kushner-Trump home last week, Kardashian also stopped by the White House for her meeting with the Donald himself, where she wore an all-black suit with unexpectedly bold neon green stilettos.
Following their encounter, Trump tweeted, “Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing,” while Kardashian shared that she felt “optimistic” about the situation.
CNN reports that Trump is on somewhat of a pardoning spree, and that the White House has prepared the paperwork for 30 people, Johnson included. Of course, a little jolt of celebrity helps bolster the decision-making process for Trump. Last month, he posthumously pardoned boxer Jack Johnson after meeting with Sylvester Stallone, who was invested in the case.
Shortly after Johnson’s commute was announced, Kardashian’s family sent her messages of support on social, with Kris Jenner pulling a total #proudmom move. “This made me cry!” Jenner wrote on Instagram, “I’ve never been so proud of you. You have the biggest heart in the world and mixed with your determination you are unstoppable!”
Khloé Kardashian also posted her message of support.
It took a fellow reality TV star to get POTUS to do—something.
This story was updated with Alice Johnson's comment.