Tiger King, Joe Exotic, could be pardoned by outgoing President Trump

NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENTS): Joe Exotic is back in the news again. You can’t keep him away from the headlines. He was made famous in the television series Tiger King and he is serving a twenty-two year prison sentence in Texas for conspiracy to murder Carole Baskin, Big Cat Rescue’s founder and chief executive officer. He also abused the cats in his possession and was the king of roadside lion and tiger cub abuses.

Joe Exotic
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Joe Exotic. Picture in the public domain.

And now, his representatives are lobbying the outgoing President Trump for a grant of executive clemency, better known as a presidential pardon. Under the US constitution the president can grant him a pardon and set aside his punishment for a federal crime. Presidental pardons don’t exonerate the person but he’ll be released if he is successful.

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His supporters and friends have appealed to the president’s son, Donald Jr and apparently Jared Kushner, his son in law, it is reported by The New York Times. We are told that Donald Jr has joked that he would ask his father to pardon Joe Exotic A.K.A. Maldonado-Passage.

Other pardons including Julian Assange?!

President Trump is expected to issue a raft of pardons to please his old buddies who ended up in jail for their misdemeanours. They are all coming out of the woodwork to plead to him for their release. Another example is Mr Trump’s 2016 deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to fraud and lying as part of the Meuller investigation. Mr Gates said that Trump, “knows how much those of us who worked for him have suffered”. Gates received a forty-five day sentence and three years probation.

Another person seeking a pardon is a North Carolina businessman sentenced to 7 years for bribery and another is a man sentenced to 20 years for a Ponzi scheme. I guess Trump might be sympathetic towards these people because they are of his ilk!

A group of Joe Exotic’s representatives and supporters stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington running up a $10,000 bill.

The Times newspaper reports that Julian Assange’s fiance tweeted President Trump to ask him to pardon the WikiLeaks founder who is currently in jail awaiting a ruling on an extradition request to America on eighteen charges including violating spying laws.


It would be a pretty tragic end from the point of view of Carole Baskin, if Joe Exotic was indeed pardoned by the outgoing president. It would be entirely wrong to pardon him considering the serious crimes he committed against animals and a person. It would be unjustifiable and there’s no reason to pardon him. The only possible motivation that Trump has is that he appears to support animal abuse one way and another by supporting his sons who like to trophy hunt in Africa and in supporting legislation which allows the shooting of hibernating bears with cubs in their dens in Alaska. Quite horrendous.

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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