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“Tiger King’s” Joe Exotic, or Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is one of multiple people seeking President Donald Trump’s pardon before he leaves office, The New York Times reported.
Maldonado-Passage owned a private zoo in Oklahoma and is currently serving a 22 year sentence, after being found guilty of two counts of murder for hire and 17 counts of animal abuse, for killing tigers and plotting to murder his rival, the animal-rights activist Carole Baskin.
He was a subject of the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King.”
Trump pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn on Wednesday.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” Trump tweeted.
Prior to Flynn’s pardon, the president had already issued 28 pardons and 16 commutations, which reduce prison sentences. Most of those were for people who had political or personal ties to the president.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US. His pardon is reportedly one of many the president plans to issue before leaving office.
Maldonado-Passage’s representatives have been trying to get Trump’s attention through all sorts of measures including visiting the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, where they had a $10,000 tab, one source told The Times.
Back in April, a reporter mentioned during a press conference that one of the president’s sons joked about lobbying Trump to pardon the zookeeper. Trump replied: “Which son? Must be Don — what did he do?”
Trump later asked the reporter if they thought Maldonado-Passage should be pardoned and suggested he may take a look into it.
“Are you on his side? Are you recommending a pardon?” he asked. “I’ll take a look.”
Trump has no made any recent comments on who he would pardon.