Donald Trump should pardon Joe Exotic and himself to combat ‘radical left bloodlust’, says congressman
Republican congressman Matt Gaetz thinks Donald Trump should pardon himself and Tiger King star Joe Exotic before he leaves office in January.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Speaking on Fox News, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz suggested the president should self-pardon to combat “radical left bloodlust”.
“President Trump should pardon Michael Flynn, he should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey, he should pardon everyone, from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to,” Gaetz said.
President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 25, 2020
Gaetz continued: “Because you see from the radical left a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come after the people who worked so hard to animate the Trump administration with the policies and the vigour and the effectiveness that delivered for the American people, so I think the president ought to wield that pardon power effectively and robustly.”
The bizarre clip has left people dumbfounded, with many taking to Twitter to mock the congressman for his bizarre comments.
Some pointed out that accepting a pardon from the president is essentially an admission of guilt.
On Fox News, Rep. @mattgaetz said President Trump should pardon himself.
In other words, Gaetz believes @realDonaldTrump is guilty of crimes… interesting.
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) November 26, 2020
So, is that an admission of guilt for all those people? A pardon means they’re guilty, right?
— teach0r teach0r ??? (@teach0r) November 25, 2020
? innocent people don't need pardons
— Margarita (@moinqueens) November 25, 2020
Trump retweeted Gaetz’s claims – so the president thinks that he should pardon himself too, apparently.
Gaetz’s comments come after Trump pardoned his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who formerly pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As is tradition, the soon-to-be-ex-president pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys Tuesday (24 November), and was asked by a reporter if he would pardon himself. He ignored the question.
There is much speculation as to whether Trump would attempt a self-pardon, and whether one would even be constitutional.
Trump clearly thinks he has the right to do so, tweeting in 2018: “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”
Bizarrely, this is not the first time the idea of a presidential pardon for Joe Exotic has been floated. The Tiger King star, who was convicted in 2019 on two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, has repeatedly called on Trump to give him a presidential pardon.
According to Exotic’s representative Eric Love, his legal team has been corresponding with officials in Washington DC in connection with arranging a pardon.
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They’ve been chasing a pardon since April, when in a coronavirus briefing Trump suggested that he would “take a look” into the Oklahoma zoo owner’s case.