Joe Exotic: Send My Pardon Request to Trump

'Tiger King' stars after Justice Department requests his application
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2020 2:17 PM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2020 2:37 PM CST
Joe Exotic Just Sued the Justice Department
This undated file photo provided by the Santa Rose County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic.   (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP, File)

(Newser) Joe Exotic really wants out of prison. The Tiger King star applied to the US Justice Department for a pardon in September, but the department quickly rejected it. Now the man convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill a rival has sued over that rejection, reports Courthouse News. Joseph Maldonado-Passage (his real name) maintains that the Justice Department office that turned him down should have presented his request to President Trump himself. After all, the president joked earlier this year that he would consider the idea of a pardon.

“Although the email conceded that the President had the ultimate authority to make a decision on the pardon, the email nevertheless implied that the Office of the Pardon Attorney was not sending the recommendation to the President and instead was usurping the role of final decision maker on the pardon,” states the complaint filed by the legal team of Maldonado-Passage. His lawyers argue the application didn't go through the proper screening protocol, according to TMZ. (Read more Tiger King stories.)

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