Joe Exotic's pardon request 'reaches Trump's desk' after president vowed he'd 'take a look' at case

JOE EXOTIC claims his pardon request to President Trump has made it to the Oval Office – and now he's dismissing a legal complaint he made to get the White House to take his request seriously.

The "Tiger King" star said he received a reassuring nod that his pardon request has made it to Trump's desk, just a week after he filed a complaint requesting the White House Pardon Attorney pass up the message to the president.


Exotic, whose legal name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse in 2019.

Eight of those charges were in violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the trade of organisms attained illegally, and nine were in violation of the Endangered Species Act, which is designed to protect vulnerable species from extinction.

He was also charged on two counts of attempted murder for hire after trying to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin.

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison, but he hopes his pardon would cut that rather short.


His legal team had been planning on sending Exotic's pardon request to Trump for months, and are hoping it would be the answer to Exotic's legal problems.

Trump did his part and said he would "take a look" at Exotic's case a few months ago, and promised to issue a pardon if his case warranted one.

Just last week, Trump issued a whole slew of pardons for 15 people.

He also commuted five other sentences.

Just this year, Netflix released "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," an eight-part documentary series based on Exotic's life and his feud with Baskin.

It also led to Exotic received plenty of attention on social media.

Exotic, who had acquired a number of tiger in unclear methods, had been using the tiger cubs in his show at his zoo, which had received a number of violations by the USDA's Animal Welfare Act in 2006.


Inn 2011, Baskin organized protests against Exotic's use of the cubs in his shows.

Exotic then used Baskin's Big Cat Rescue name in his marketing in retaliation, forcing Baskin to sue Exotic for trademark infringement.

She was awarded a $1 million settlement in compensation, but he has yet to pay back the settlement.

Exotic was arrested on September 7, 2018 in Florida after the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, the FBI, the US Marshals, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation conducted an investigation into his zoo.

They found Exotic attempted to hire an undercover FBI agent to kill Baskin for interfering with his zoo.

After his sentencing on January 22, 2019, Baskin acquired control of his property as Exotic remains incarcerated at the federal prison in Fort Worth.

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