Joe Exotic sues Trump administration for denying his pardon request because apparently 2020 has a few final plot twists left
As the final days of Trump’s presidency slip away, desperate Tiger King star Joe Exotic is suing the US Department of Justice for refusing his request for a pardon.
The 57-year-old “gun-toting gay redneck” is currently staring down the barrel of 22 years in federal prison for a litany of offences, including a murder-for-hire plot to kill his nemesis Carole Baskin.
Since finding fame with Netflix’s Tiger King Exotic has been relentlessly pursuing a presidential pardon from his fellow reality TV star Donald Trump. But with his many grovelling requests going nowhere, he’s decided to change his tactics.
Lawyers for Exotic have filed a six-page complaint in which they accuse acting pardon attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns of not presenting the formal request directly to Trump – something they claim she was required to do.
Because of this, the complaint says the rejection of the request shouldn’t be valid, and it specifically names Donald Trump Jr as a supporter of Exotic’s cause.
“Many people have come out and publicly expressed their disagreement with Joe Exotic’s conviction and subsequent sentence. Among those, are members of the president’s own family,” it states. “Donald Trump Jr has been an advocate for Joe Exotic to be pardoned.”
The pardon application was first submitted on 8 September and it was denied by Sargent-Burns’ office two days later. Exotic’s lawyers insist that the pardon attorney overstepped her authority, though it’s not clear whether they actually have any evidence of this.
“Joe Exotic does not seek to influence the nature of the recommendation, but only to compel the Office of the Pardon Attorney to comply with its ministerial duties to provide notice and a recommendation to the president, and thus to allow the president to exercise his plenary power under the Constitution,” said his legal team.
Joe Exotic’s attempts to get the president’s attention have been growing more and more desperate as time goes by.
He’s tried letters, he’s tried Fox News, he’s tried a a $94 million civil rights lawsuit against the federal government. His husband even tried a 1,350-mile road trip to Washington in a tour bus emblazoned with Exotic’s face.
None have succeeded, and now with just 32 days left of Donald Trump’s presidency, this last frantic act suggests that Joe’s more than a little worried that his precious pardon won’t come through.