Pardon Me. Joe Exotic, AKA “The Tiger King,” Hopes Suing The Justice Department Will Spring Him From Prison.

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. Authorities continue to investigate the shooting death of Maldonado's husband. Maldonado said his husband accidentally shot himself Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

You know it’s not good when you can’t even reach the low bar of inclusion with Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and other convicts. Such is the plight of “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic, who seems to have exhausted his 15 minutes of fame and has decided to pursue litigation to continue seeking a pardon from President Donald Trump.

Mr. Exotic—real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage—is suing the U.S. Justice Department over the Trump administration’s rejection of his official pardon request, according to reports, because the request never reached Trump himself.

The big-cat handler, who burst into national prominence largely because of the coronavirus-Netflix confluence, was found guilty last year of planning a hit on his private-zoo rival Carole Baskin for $3,000, and on 17 charges of animal abuse.

Just through the first year of a 22-year sentence, Exotic has had plenty of time to write—his initial pardon petition includes 257 pages and offers the self-description “gay, gun-toting redneck in Oklahoma.”

In a complaint filed last week against DOJ acting attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns, Exotic “seeks to require the United States Office of the Pardon Attorney to comply with its ministerial duty to submit a recommendation to the President of the United States regarding Joe Exotic’s application for pardon, so that the President can exercise his Constitutional discretion in determining whether to grant or deny application petition.”

The complaint also names Donald Trump Jr. as a supporter: “Many people have come out and publicly expressed their disagreement with Joe Exotic’s conviction and subsequent sentence. Among those, are members of the President’s own family. Donald Trump Junior has been an advocate for Joe Exotic to be Pardoned.”

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