Trump 'could pardon Tiger King Joe Exotic after new evidence’ on last day before Biden inauguration
DONALD Trump could pardon Tiger King Joe Exotic on his last full day as president after new evidence was released in Exotic's case.
Trump is reportedly planning to issue more than 100 pardons on Tuesday, and the eccentric star of the 2020 Netflix series Tiger King is confident he will be among them, according to his legal team.
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Exotic's legal team, dubbed Team Tiger, told The Sun that they are so sure he will receive a pardon, they will have a limo waiting for him outside FMC Prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where he's being held.
Exotic, 57, was convicted of hiring a hit-man to take out his rival, fellow big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin, and of animal cruelty, and given 22 years in prison.
Now new evidence, including telephone recordings, has reportedly made its way to the White House in an effort to secure Exotic's pardon.
Jim Rathmann, a former US Secret Service Agent turn private investigator, said that the legal team has been given recorded phone calls that call into question the testimony given by certain witnesses in Exotic's trial.
"You find your evidence and you let the evidence take you wherever the case is going to take you," Rathmann told ABC Action News, "And in this particular case, [it] keeps bringing me down the path that this murder-for-hire never happened."
Rathmann said that the information Exotic's team recently got their hands on may have kept the reality TV star out of prison initially.
"I would have loved this information to have been out two years ago before his trial so he never would have been convicted overall," he said.
"But since that isn't what happened, it's better late than never."
Even if Exotic is not among those pardoned by Trump on his way out, Rathmann said oral arguments for the Tiger King's appeal will begin on January 20, the same day of Joe Biden's inauguration.
Eric Love, a member of Team Tiger, told The Sun that they are expecting Exotic to be freed early in the day on Tuesday, and a Dodge truck limousine will be waiting to wisk him away to a secret location.
“We anticipate notification around the 10am to 2pm mark," Love said.
"With that said it could very well come much earlier or later but we do feel that we will have the pardon [Tuesday]."
Love said that Exotic will be taken to get a haircut and a medical evaluation before being reunited with his husband, Dillon Passage.
He said the reality star will be taken to the remote location for "48 hours of decompression."
"It is important," Love added, that Exotic have some time to be "loved, appreciated, catered to" before making any public appearances.
Last week, Team Tiger flew to Washington, DC, for a “high level” meeting with White House aides for a last-minute pardon discussion.
Love revealed he has his cell phone on 24/7 and is "excited" to get the call confirming their hopes of Exotic's release.
He claimed the President's son, Donald Trump Jr, and his partner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, are both sympathetic of Exotic's case, expressing their concerns to the President.
Love, who went to Washington in a private jet dubbed The Joe Exotic Express and Exotic One, insists Trump has been directly made aware of the pardon request.
Trump is also reportedly considering pardons for rapper Lil Wayne, who is facing weapons charges, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his own former advisor Steve Bannon.
There was also speculation that Trump may try to pardon his kids or himself, but the January 6 insurrection attempt by the president's supporters may have complicated that plan, according to CNN.
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