Joe Exotic's lawyers to visit White House to seek presidential pardon amid news he paid $1,000 to Trump campaign

Exotic's legal team is supposed to visit the White House on Tuesday, May 19, to ask the president for a pardon


                            Joe Exotic's lawyers to visit White House to seek presidential pardon amid news he paid $1,000 to Trump campaign
(Getty Images)

Disgraced zookeeper Joe Exotic, whose legal team is looking to get him a presidential pardon from his 22-year prison sentence, was a fan of President Donald Trump back in 2016, when he himself was running from the president, it has been revealed.

According to information obtained by TMZ, Exotic was a Trump fan long before he became an international celebrity following the incredible success of the Netflix documentary on his life, 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.' He also donated $1,000 to the Trump campaign for an opportunity to meet the man of the hour at a Trump rally event just outside Oklahoma City. 

After entering the event, Exotic reportedly left the arena to have a smoke outside. When he tried to go back in, he was not allowed by the Secret service. Apparently Exotic said he was told by the bodyguards that once a person left the event, they were not allowed back in a second time. However, sources told the outlet that the agents were taken aback by the zookeeper's behavior as he was acting quite "starstruck," which to them, seemed really odd. However,  the Tiger King maintains that the reason he was not allowed back in the event was that the secret servicemen had seen that he had a concealed-carry permit when he showed them his ID. 

Joe Exotic (Wikimedia Commons)

Exotic's legal team is supposed to visit the White House on Tuesday, May 19, to ask Trump for a pardon. Their client was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire to kill a rival animal rights activist, Carole Baskin, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act in January. 

We reported earlier that his lawyers have also made a video to claim that Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was not guilty of the crimes that he had been convicted of, but he was actually framed by someone else. The clip showed Exotic's team had painted a large bus, which was seen emblazoned with the words “Team King” and “President Trump please pardon Joe Exotic”.

“A team the size of Texas has been assembled to handle the case of Joe Exotic,” Francisco Hernandez, an attorney in Texas, said in the video, adding that they intended to prove Eotic's innocence. Eric Love, of Bedford, Texas, claims to be Exotic’s executive manager and “lead investigator”. “We’ve built an army of attorneys to assist in the appeal process and right this monumental injustice,” Love said.

However, the chances of a release from prison do not look bright for Exotic. When Trump was asked during a press conference back in April if he had watched the 'Tiger King' documentary and whether he would consider a pardon for the lead man, the POTUS said that he had no clue what the case was about and jokingly asked the reporters if they were in favor of Exotic being pardoned. “Would you recommend a pardon” Trump said, adding, “I don’t think you would.” Nevertheless, he said that he would "take a look" at the case. 

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