The infamous Joe Exotic, star of the hit Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” is having his legal team seek a presidential pardon for his 2019 conviction.
In an appearance on “Good Morning Britain,” Exotic’s husband, Dillon Passage, said that Joe’s legal team will be traveling to Washington, D.C., to deliver the pardon request in person.
“The pardon, Joe’s legal team is, like, sending out the requests for it and all of this next week, I believe, or the week after,” Passage said, as reported by Fox News. “They’re driving a car all the way up to D.C. to deliver it in person.”
“We all know the situation, like, people that are actually in Joe’s life,” he continued. “We know that he was confronted with this ‘plot’ kind of thing to take out Carole.”
As the Netflix show chronicles in detail, Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced to 22 years in jail after an Oklahoma jury convicted him in 2019 of animal cruelty and contracting a hitman to kill his chief rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue (the alleged hitman did not go through with the act). Though not conclusively proving it one way or the other, the documentary postulated that Exotic may have been set up by his business partner, Jeff Lowe. Passage contended that Joe Exotic was “in a really depressed mental state” and “taken advantage of by someone he thought he could trust.”
“There’s loads of evidence that proves it, that was not used in the court case – a lot of it was thrown out by the judge,” Passage said.
Should the pardon be rejected, Passage said that “the appeals process is really gonna, you know, show the world exactly the situation that had happened.”
In a Facebook post back in April, Exotic publicly asked Trump to grant him a presidential pardon, arguing that key witnesses lied under oath and that prosecutors simply wanted to get a win with no regard for the truth.
“I am being sent to Prison because a seasoned con man wanted my zoo so bad for free that he set me up in a plan he devised to look like I participated in his murder for hire scheme to get me out of his way to take over,” Exotic said in the Facebook post.
“Mr. President, I am pleading with you to please have this looked into,” he concluded. “I am currently incarcerated at the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma and facing 20 – 50 years in prison for doing the same thing every zoo and sanctuary owner has had to do at one time or another.”
Following that, a reporter even went as far as to ask President Trump if he would grant Joe Exotic a presidential pardon during a White House press conference. “I’ll take a look,” the president replied.
Donald Trump Jr. also argued that even though Joe Exotic was most likely guilty for his crimes, his sentence of 22 years seemed “sort of aggressive.”
“Now, I don’t even know exactly what he was charged with … I watched the show, but it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t,” he said during an appearance on Sirius XM’s “Jim Norton and Sam Roberts” radio show. “It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, ‘We’re putting this guy away for 30 years,’ I’m saying that seems sort of aggressive.”
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