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May 30, 2018

As Kim Kardashian heads to White House, I hope she advocates for many federal offenders excessively sentenced

Donald-Trump-Body-Shame-Kim-KardashianIn this post earlier this month I asked, "Might Kim Kardashian West actually convince Prez Trump to grant clemency to federal drug offender?" The post was prompted by the news that "Kim Kardashian West and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner have spoken over the phone about a possible presidential pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 62-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense."  This Vanity Fair article now reports that Kimme (who still has more Twitter followers than Prez Trump) is now headed to the White House to speak in person with Kushner and Prez Trump about a clemency grant.  Here are the details:

After months of back-channel talks between Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner, the high priestess of reality television is coming to the White House.  By late afternoon on Wednesday, Secret Service agents will wave Kardashian and her attorney through the southwest appointment gate to the West Wing, where they will meet Kushner to discuss prison reform before he walks with them to sit down with President Donald Trump, likely in the Oval Office, along with White House counsel.  According to a person familiar with the meeting, Kardashian plans to ask Trump to pardon a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense.  (White House staffers have joked about who will get to accompany her to the West Wing, and what they should wear for the occasion. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)...

Kardashian, a more recent prison reform evangelist, appears to be approaching the White House meeting with equal seriousness.  She will not be bringing the camera crew for her reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, nor will she bring a publicist or her sisters, according to the person familiar with the situation.  (Her husband, Kanye West, who recently tweeted a photo of his red Make America Great Again hat, will not be present either, though there have been talks about him making a White House appearance of his own at a later, to-be-determined date.)  Instead, 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.”...

The Kushner-Kardashian summit marks something of a turning point for the First Son-in-Law. It will be Kushner’s first major act since he was granted a permanent, top-level security clearance last week, after more than a year of negative headlines about why his clearance had been delayed and then downgraded. Among White House tea-leaf readers, the news was received as evidence that perhaps Kushner’s legal exposure in Robert Mueller’s investigation might not be as severe as many had believed it to be, and gave credence to the idea that his standing in the West Wing might be somewhat restored. Those in Ivanka and Kushner’s social orbit in New York joked with each other about how much money they stood to lose on various bets they had made over when Kushner would be indicted by Mueller.

But Kushner and Ivanka are not focused on the chatter, or their old friends in New York — at least not on Wednesday. They plan to host Kardashian for dinner at their home after her presidential sit-down, a private evening with the most famous sibling of America’s other First Family.

I somewhat doubt that Kimme will "make a legal argument to President Trump," but I am hoping somebody (perhaps even Jared Kushner) has thought to urge Ms. Kardashian to talk about excessively sentenced federal defendants beyond Alice Marie Johnson.  In a prior post, I noted that the CANDO website has a detailed list of Top 25 Women who deserve clemency from federal prison.  And the Life for Pot site has its own detailed lists of Nonviolent Inmates (over 62) Serving​ Life without Parole for Marijuanha and Inmates(under 62) Serving ​Sentences of Life without Parole in Federal Prison for Marijuana.  Notably, over the weekend, Ms. Kardashian did tweet here about the story of Matthew Charles (discussed in this recent post).  

It would be something for Kimme to get clemency relief for a single federal defendant; it would be something special is she could secure clemency relief for a number of individuals.  

Prior related post:

May 30, 2018 at 03:23 PM | Permalink


One of the unexpected pleasures of growing older is that I can take delight in my ignorance of popular culture. I have no idea who "Kimmie" is and I have no desire to know. I do find it amusing to contemplate the idea, however, that we should elect our officials based on Twitter followers. Amusing because I suspect that those numbers are almost certainly vastly inflated by bots. The bots probably do a better job than the voters.

Posted by: daniel | May 30, 2018 10:06:28 PM

Kimmie needs to use her connections to reach Mitch McConnell, for real world results on reform. President Trump can help her with a single pardon, but not with prison or sentencing reform.

Kimmie and her family made $100 million from reality TV after their biological father became a celebrity defense lawyer in the OJ trial. So this is a fitting story for this blog.

Posted by: David Behar | May 30, 2018 10:39:54 PM

It is a fitting story. Maybe Kardashian will be as good as Stormy Daniels, hell Trump will do anything for her.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 30, 2018 11:02:52 PM

Call me cynical, but I think Trump just wants to hang with a pretty and popular reality TV star.

Posted by: Paul | May 31, 2018 8:17:03 AM

Paul. Berman deleted a comment about what was really going on in the White House during this visit.

Posted by: David Behar | Jun 2, 2018 9:36:18 AM

The problem for non violent drug rings is that they are not non violent.

The threat of violence is the only way for them to survive and the act of violence is the only way to enforce agreements that go bad.

I don't know how many violent drug offenders plea down to a non violent drug offense.

We do know that from, newly, released BJS study showing recidivism percentages within 9 years of being released from incarceration, that more than a third (34%) of all drug offenders were re-arrested for violent offences.

Now, the granny may not fit the profile, but one would be hard pressed to find a cocaine distribution ring that operated without violence.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Jun 3, 2018 4:54:17 PM

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