Tiger King’sJoe Exotic is hopeful Donald Trump will soon ‘put pen to paper’ and grant him a presidential pardon.
The Netflix star, real name Joe Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving 22 years for a series of offences including a murder-for-hire plot of fellow wildcat enthusiast Carole Baskin and violating several animal-related laws.
But since the true crime documentary on his life aired in March this year, becoming a worldwide phenomenon in the process, Exotic and his team have been lobbying President Trump in a bid to get him released through a presidential pardon.
The US leader even stated earlier this year that he would ‘look into it’ during a conference.
As Trump’s time in office ends in seven weeks’ time, the legal team for Exotic have been doubling down their efforts – and are confident it’s about to pay off.
‘We are waiting on the pen to hit the paper, we think we are very, very close,’ Eric Love, an attorney for Exotic told ABC News.
A source from inside the government added to the site: ‘We’ve heard from the Tiger King. You wouldn’t believe the amount of calls, some insane, we’ve gotten.’
Among their efforts was a 257-page document from Exotic, written from Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, where he’s currently being held.
However, Baskin, who recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars, has contested the appeal, and asked Trump not to release Exotic.
Appearing on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show in Australia, Baskin said: ‘I can’t believe that would be a good move for anybody’s political career – given the fact that he was convicted for two counts of murder for hire and 17 counts of wildlife trafficking and abuse, which included shooting five healthy tigers in the head to make room for some circus cats he wanted.’
But Exotic has remained steadfast, and has been encouraging his supporters to help via social media posts on Instagram, written via his lawyers.
In one of his latest posts, the inmate said: ‘If President Trump grants me this miracle, I can honestly say I am putting everyone connected to that zoo and that industry behind me.
‘I am taking the higher road and will work on forgiving them. They’ve got a much bigger Man and karma to deal with one day than me and God knows everything.’
‘I will spend every minute of my life making this up to my husband, using my platform to help sick children around the world, the homeless and fighting for change in this justice system, he continued.
‘I can’t let the people of my past waste another moment of my life ever again so I lose out on anything like I lost out on saying goodbye to my mom.
‘Carole and all the rest who thrive on controlling others’ lives can go on about their way without me.’
He is currently due for release in 2037.
Tiger King is available now on Netflix.
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