Donald Trump

Kim Kardashian Is Currently Our Nation's Greatest Hope for Prison Reform

The reality superstar will meet with Trump to push for clemency today for a great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a drug offense.


SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Vanity Fair reported this morning that reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian will meet with White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as President Trump himself, to push for prison reform today.

Specifically, Kardashian will be pushing for a presidential pardon for a 62-year-old woman convicted of nonviolent drug offenses:

Kardashian hopes to make a legal argument to President Trump for why he should pardon Alice Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense. More than 21 years after Johnson went to prison, Kardashian came across Johnson's story on Twitter earlier this year and reached out to Ivanka, who connected her to Kushner, according to the source. In an interview earlier this month, Kardashian said that, if given the opportunity, she would "explain to [Trump] that, just like everybody else, we can make choices in our lives that we're not proud of and that we don't think through all the way."

You can read more about Johnson's case in her bio page on CAN-DO Clemency, a group that advocates for clemency for non-violent drug offenders. As her page notes, Johnson's clemency request was denied by the Obama administration.

Yesterday Kardashian also tweeted out the story of Matthew Charles. Charles was released from federal prison after serving 21 years behind bars for a crack cocaine offense, but two years after he started putting his life back together a federal appeals court ruled he had been set free in error. He has since been returned to prison.

As Reason reported yesterday, Charles' story sparked outrage and widespread calls for Trump to commute his sentence.

While the Trump administration is staunchly opposed to sentencing reforms, it has supported more modest prison and reentry reforms. Earlier this month, the White House held a prison reform summit where Trump called on Congress to pass a pending prison reform bill and get it to his desk. He also spoke in his State of the Union speech earlier this year about the need to give former inmates better training and opportunities for a second chance at life.

Trump has proved receptive to other celebrity entreaties, such as one from Sylvester Stallone that resulted in Trump's recent posthumous pardon of boxer Jack Johnson. Listen, it's a not great state of affairs when you need a massive celebrity to get the attention of the president and fix gross injustices, but if Kim K. can get it done, more power to her.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

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  1. If she gets this done, all you haters out there owe her an apology. The national blight that is KUWTK will have all been worth it.

    1. We PROMISE to stop hating her as soon as she SOLVES the never-ending, deep, existential ANGST of ALL of the male hetero In Cebs (Involuntary Celibates) EVERYWHERE! She needs to Put Out or Get Out!

      1. “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need”

        1. Now that we’ve outlawed leveraging power and wealth to get some lovin, I guess we are going to need to invoke some good old Marxist theory…

    2. If she gets it done, good for her. And if Trump does this. Peter Suderman is going to have some kind of a breakdown. The guy disappeared for a solid month after Trump won the election. If Trump does this, McArdle will have to put him on Thorazine.

      1. I’ll SING the Praises of His Imperial Eminence, the Trumpster, just as soon as He acknowledges that illegal humans are humans, too! That a person’s a person, no matter how how DROLL their despicable place-of-birth papers may be…

        (Humanoid freedoms and all, cool by me, but WHERE were ye BORN?!?!?)

        1. I hope Trump manages to get North Korea to give up its nukes for obvious reasons. That would be a great thing and make the world much safer. One of the bonuses to that happening would be watching the reason staff lose its mind over it and send Chapman or Suderman out to explain how the whole thing was really a bad idea.

          1. “I hope Trump manages to get North Korea to give up its nukes for obvious reasons.”

            Well I agree with you, and the USA should lead by example, and give up its nukes first! Else the USA is just a bunch of hypocrites. “Do as I say, and not as I do”.

            N. Korea give up nukes?!? Not gonna happen! Kim Ill Dung-Breath over there just watched Trumpster-to-the-Dumpster violate the USA’s promises to Iran. Iran lived up to their agreements, and Trumpster-to-the-Dumpster violated the USA’s promises. The lessons are NOT lost on “Little Rocket Man” over there!

            1. No we should not give up our nukes. That would be national suicide. And North Korea will give up its nukes the moment it sees doing so as better than not. And that moment may happen. It just depends on how hard we can make life for them with nukes and how easy we can make it for them without.

              These things are difficult issues, but they really are not that complex.

            2. Reunification. That would make the Chinese uncomfortable.

              1. The Chinese will never allow full reuinification. The Japanese took over Korea and used it as a base to invade China in the 1930s. The Chinese are never going to allow that to happen.

                All China wants is a buffer state to ensure that neither Korea nor Japan can invade it. They don’t really care that the Norks have nukes one way or another. In fact, I think they would prefer the Norks not to have nukes since it makes them harder to control. This is why I think if forced to, China will step up and get North Korea to do it.

                1. What are they going to do, invade again? That would be unwise. Though it could result in a M*A*S*H reboot.

                  1. A unified Korea after it recovered from the expense of absorbing the North would be quite formidable especially when allied with Japan. I am not saying it would happen but this is the kind of paranoid shit that government’s think of after they have seen their country invaded a few times.

                    1. Yeah, well, totalitarianism is tough.

                  2. Grandma Hotlips

                2. It was only fair: Genghis Khan’s China used Korea to attempt to invade Japan. (A storm sunk the Chinese/Korean fleet. This gave rise to the term “kamikaze”, meaning “divine wind”.)

            3. I doubt China is too concerned about the potential invasion by Japan or a united Korea, but they’d surely prefer not to have a buildup of American troops or expansion of the presence of the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the region. And they surely don’t want Japan or South Korea to go nuclear. So, I’d agree, China is likely putting pressure on the DPRK to avoid provocations with the US.

              Over the long term, however, I can see South Korea falling out of the US orbit, and into China’s, and reunifying with the North to (eventually) displace Japan as the #2 regional economic power, an ambitious notion that would stir the heart of any Korean, north or south. I doubt China would have any problems with that scenario.

              1. SK will probably supplant Japan in the next few decades anyway without any particular deal with China.

      2. I have to say. Suderman is starting to even bother me. Even Shikha doesn’t really bother me.

        1. I used to like him or at least not mind him. But he lost his mind during the election. And he really hasn’t gotten it back.

          1. That couch gets mighty lonely at night.

            1. I shouldn’t be so hard on him. It is not exactly like he wears the pants in the family.

    3. Pretty amazing to think this woman was just one of Paris Hilton’s groupies at one point. As easy as it is to criticize these women, especially for the way the men in their lives seem to have a curse on them, they’ve made millions pimping their (plastic, collagen-filled) image and truly have “fuck you” money. Hell, considering only Kim had to get naked to accomplish that, that’s pretty impressive.

      1. Well, she had to get peed on by Ray-J, too.

        1. But was that really a sacrifice, I know people who have paid money for that sort of thing.

          And that is a lot more respectable in my eyes than what a lot of politicians and judges do to win elections. The prurient interest of the public is hardly its worst vice.

      2. I read somewhere that she actually makes more money than her husband. I find that hard to believe but apparently she has all kinds of brands and makes a fortune.

        1. She and her sisters/nieces get paid big bucks to pimp certain brands, and I think they’re actually paid to go to clubs because their presence is good for drawing huge crowds.

          They might represent a lot of what is wrong with American’s celebrity-obsessed culture, but I’m not going to hate on them for figuring that out and making a living off of it. They’re not really the problem, it’s the society that elevated them in the first place.

    4. “If she gets this done, all you haters out there owe her an apology.”
      No, I won’t.

    5. Kim Kardashian could save my life or the life of my children and I still wouldn’t apologize for anything to her.

    6. I don’t hate her. It’s just that having big tits and being t h i c c shouldn’t make you a billionaire.

      1. Big female tits…

    7. For once, I agree with you. I’ve never understood all the anger directed at her. OK, she’s built a career on the number of men who wiish she was bent over their desks (most of them). There are worse things to do with one’s life. And here we see that, of the causes a sexy (possible) airhead could pick, she hasn’t picked anything like the worst.

  2. She’s bringing her lawyer with her to the meeting, apparently…and don’t forget her dad was a lawyer.

    1. She was saying last year that she wanted to start working in law and started working for a law firm she has some personal connection too. None of this surprises me.

  3. Just when I was hoping that family would fall off the pop radar.

    1. I was hoping they’d fall in to the radar. While it was on at full power.

      1. Good lord, she’d probably burn for days…

  4. Listen, it’s a not great state of affairs when you need a massive celebrity to get the attention of the president and fix gross injustices

    Umm, someone hasn’t been watching politics since the early 90s… and perhaps the early 80s, and one might argue the 60s.

    1. I caught that one too. Somehow after 8 years of reason telling us how cool Obama was for hanging out with celebrities, a President hanging out with one is now “not a great state of affairs”. Funny that.

      1. reason telling us how cool Obama was for hanging out with celebrities

        I can’t say it didn’t happen, but I have no recollection of anything like that.

        1. You have no sense of humor Zeb. They were not that bad, but they certainly never had a problem with it.

          1. You have no sense of humor Zeb.

            It’s intermittent, I guess. Or more that I sometimes choose poorly which things to take seriously.

            1. I am no better. I never get sarcasm on here.

            2. Also, Poe’s law (I think that’s the right one). There have been enough people seriously insisting that the majority of Reason writers voted for Obama twice and similar nonsense that it’s hard to tell sometimes.

              Constant goddamn sciatica pain hasn’t helped my sense of humor either.

              1. I think two admitted to voting for him. Though who knows how many voted for him and then lied about it.

                1. I would have thought it more likely that they would vote against him and lie and say they voted for him. You know, for the cocktail party invites.

              2. Constant goddamn sciatica pain hasn’t helped my sense of humor either.

                Sounds like SOMEONE needs a 3 day prescription.

              3. Constant goddamn sciatica pain hasn’t helped my sense of humor either.

                Oh, man. Sympathy on that. I had a similar problem for a while, that went away as mysteriously as it began, and it definitely didn’t help my sense of humor either.

    2. The PBS doc on Las Vegas has an amusing clip of JFK attending one of the Rat Pack’s shows during his Senate run.

    3. What other state of affairs is likely to happen anyway? Celebrities get more attention than other people, by definition. Maybe presidents should ignore celebrities and read all the mail the get from regular folk. But that seems unlikely.

  5. I’d prefer simply cutting laws. Lots of them.

    They claim ignorance of the law is not a defense, but at this point, how can one NOT be ignorant of some of the laws out there?

    1. at this point, how can one NOT be ignorant of some of the laws out there?

      3 Felonies a Day.

  6. Kim Kardashian Is Currently Our Nation’s Greatest Hope for Prison Reform

    Truly these are rarefied times.

  7. I hope she succeeds in securing a pardon for Ms. Johnson. But really, this isn’t the Kim that President Trump needs to be having a summit meeting with.

    1. Ooh, burn!

  8. “it’s a not great state of affairs when you need a massive celebrity to get the attention of the president” This is not limited to Trump, as I recall several celebrity rappers meet with Obama and Obama was so bad at international issues it took a goofy former basket ball player to get a person out of North Korea

  9. trade prison reform for KimK? In.

    1. But that was different Paul.

    2. Obama really was the worst with that shit. And I don’t know how many people thought it was just awesome that he spent so much time getting drunk with celebrities at Camp David. I have a vague acquaintance who was a big Democrat fundraiser and donor who got invited to some of those doos and from what I heard, he liked to put away lots of martinis and bask in celebrity glow.

      1. Obama was more than anything just a nonentity. I honestly don’t think he believed in much of anything beyond how cool it was to be Obama. His genius was figuring out that if he didn’t say a lot, people would project onto him whatever they wanted him to be. If you talk to ten people who voted for Obama, you will get ten different answers to the question of what he was. Progs thought he was the Progressive Messiah. Centrist thought he was a centrist. Pragmatists thought he was a pragmatist who had the misfortune of having opponents who wouldn’t work with him. You name it and you will hear it. There really was no there to him.

        1. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

          1. President Chauncy Gardner

            1. Not to suggest Obama was a literal moron, as depicted in the film, but he was the same blank screen.

              1. To be fair, he had enough self-awareness to recognize that. He even mentioned it in Audacity of Hope.

  10. I always question it when I hear 1st time drug offender got life. I don’t think anyone gets life for a first time drug offense. More than just drugs here.

    “”Conspiracy to possess cocaine; Attempted possession of cocaine; Money laundering””

    Now don’t get me wrong. I would like to see The Don pardon her. This smells a lot like overzealous prosecution. I would very much like to see the end of overzealous prosecutors. However, that reform cannot happen when half the country is applauding and backing an overzealous prosecutor against a sitting president.

    1. There are certain federal trafficking crimes which can get you life on a first offense. It really is that fucked.

      1. I have seen some drug crimes that can get you up to life on a first offense. Usually, the full penalty isn’t thrown at you on the first offence unless there are other factors, or an overzealous judge or prosecutor. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. I don’t think it happens often (once it too much), and every time someone has mentioned a case where it was suppose to be true, I find other factors involved.

    2. conspiracy to possess is stupid wtf

  11. If true, she should wear a revealing dress. If we’re going to rely on her -God help us- she should at least use her greatest weapon.

  12. Why has no one said it?

    Grab her by the pussy Trump!

    1. You think Kim would give it up to get that poor woman out of prison?

      1. She’s done more for less.

        1. What do we call a person gives it up to save a stranger?

          This is Black Mirror stuff.

  13. Me: You’d shit your pants if a Kardashian showed up to Obama’s White House. Maybe it happened and you already had your tantrum.

    John: I would have no problem with it, dipshit. I’ve never criticized Obama for being too cozy with celebrities.

    Just thought I’d get that out of the way before I left.

    1. To think you don’t even charge me rent for living inside your head.

    2. Obama is not the first Democrat president that comes to mind for being most likely to invite her to the White House

  14. She hates the drug war because it’s fucked more black guys than she has.

    1. 😮

  15. Best of luck to her. While she’s at it, maybe she can get Trump to recognize the Armenian genocide.

    1. Well no other president has, but knowing Trump and knowing Erdogan, given enough time I think he will get there on his own. Of course I am sure if Trump ever says Enver and Talaat Pasha were genocidal monsters I suspect he will be accused of being racist for it.

      Btw, I believe Kourtney is the only one who has ever brought this subject up.

    2. Well no other president has, but knowing Trump and knowing Erdogan, given enough time I think he will get there on his own. Of course I am sure if Trump ever says Enver and Talaat Pasha were genocidal monsters I suspect he will be accused of being racist for it.

      Btw, I believe Kourtney is the only one who has ever brought this subject up.

  16. First time drug offense landed the woman in jail for over 10 years? I don’t care enough to find out exactly what happened, but the sentence sounds excessive enough for me to suspect it isn’t as innocent as it’s being played out to be. I also don’t care if the person is a grandmother and consider putting such information up front to be emotional pandering.
    All that said, if the person is in jail for a victimless crime then I agree with giving clemency and pushing to change the law. It feels weird to actually be in support of something a Kardashian is doing.

    1. You nerds and your Star Trek references kill me.

    2. You should bother to find out what happened if you are going to have an opinion. From what I’ve read she was involved in some drug trafficking as a sort of go-between. Others involved testified against her to get lower sentences and she got screwed.
      Federal drug laws are really so insane that the length of sentence doesn’t tell you much about how much a person might deserve it.

  17. If Dennis Rodman can broker a peace deal with North Korea, why can’t Kim get prison reform done? After all, politics is downhill from culture and Kim is a cultural icon.

  18. Why does Kim Kardashian have a post-it note on her lapel in that picture? That’s what I want to know.

    1. I think it’s a really poor photoshop removing a logo

    2. She has a lapel?

  19. If anyone can convince Trump to do something it’s someone with huge tits.

    1. Do you think that a babe with smaller tits, but with great legs, would be able to convince him as well?

      1. I don’t think so. Apparently he still have a bunch of photos of Marla Maples in his office, because she had much bigger ones than Melania

        1. Good, if he doesn’t want her, I will take the small breasted beauty with great legs. Maybe you would too?

  20. Glad he cleaned up the swamp. Now average nobody’s like this nice young lady can petition the President face to face for favors.

  21. “a great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a drug offense”

    Because some identities shouldn’t have to go to prison.

    1. she was just beginning to turn her life around!

      1. I kid, she obviously doesn’t deserve that sentence. But emotionally manipulative journalese is irritating

        1. “A frigid, celibate woman who got what she deserved and will stay in prison until she croaks.”

  22. Any answer as to why Obama denied the same request?

  23. Well go kid, because even pain patients have been put in jail right with her except we also get tortured. As the population ages they will have to have pain also. We need the Opiates back yesterday. Suicides for vets and very very sick people are now greater than those that died under the Twin Towers. So, it’s another tragedy, a bigger one, but this one is ignored, …and it’s still happening, today, now. Pain is a murderer.

  24. “Kim Kardashian Is Currently Our Nation’s Greatest Hope for Prison Reform”

    What a crock of shite. Can’t bring yourself to state reality? That “Pres Trump is currently our nation’s greatest hope for prison reform” Kim is an advocate….Trump can get something done, and has expressly stated a desire to do so.

    Eight years of Obama, who had every incentive to drive some reform and we got nothing. Now, we have an active Administration policy to pursue prison reform, led by Kushner. We don’t know what it will ultimately be, but its the only action we’ve seen in decades.

    Trump is the most libertarian president in decades, but Reason can’t get past its juvenile TDS to admit the positive actions.

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