Joe Exotic is ‘absolutely confident’ Donald Trump will pardon him today

Tiger King star Joe Exotic was jailed for trying to have an animal rights activist murdered

As Donald Trump prepares a wave of pardons in the final hours of his presidency, Joe Exotic, the subject of a Netflix docu-series, hopes for freedom.

Tiger King star Exotic, the flamboyant zoo-owner sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for a murder-for-fire plot kill Carole Baskin, is among those pining for the outgoing president to consider granting him clemency.

The 57-year-old’s legal team “Team Tiger” is, according to Oklahoma news outlet 5abc KOCO, “absolutely confident” that Exotic will receive a pardon from Trump on Tuesday (19 January).

Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, 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.

From a tour bus of his face to suing the government, prospect of Trump pardon prompts Joe Exotic to pull out all the stops

For Exotic, the former owner of GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, a presidential pardon from the Republican is his last shot at scoring a precious get-out-of-jail-free card.

Hope was first sparked when Trump, in the peak of Tiger King‘s popularity in April 2020, said he would “look into” his case during a press conference.

Regardless of its outcome, Trump’s final day in office will be the end of a months-long desperate battle by the Kansas native which included a slew of grovelling appeals, a miles-long tour bus sporting Exotic’s face and racking up sky-high tabs at Trump hotels.

“Team Tiger” has certainly tried it all. Even taking aim at the Department of Justice, suing the agency for rejecting his pardon last year.


Exotic’s team walked back on the six-page complaint, which accused the acting pardon attorney of not forwarding on the formal request to Trump himself, after it emerged it did, in fact, land on his desk.

But the former Libertarian’s name has all but been absent from the full pardons Trump has dished out across the last month, fuelling fear among Exotic’s defence team.

With the clock ticking, Trump will in his final hours of leadership launch a litany of pardons across a ragtag group of close allies and those he perceives as victims of an overbearing prosecution system, with those in the running ranging from pro-Trump Lil Wayne to low-level drug offenders.

As his four-year tenure hurtles towards a turbulent end, Trump will disclose the list of pardons and commutations complied by himself and advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and White House counsel Pat Cipollone.