Carole Baskin has expressed her ‘relief’ after learning her nemesis Joe Exotic’s request for a pardon from former US President Donald Trump has been denied.
However, in an interview with Metro, the Tiger King star, 59, admitted she remains fearful that 57-year-old Joe – who is jailed for animal abuse and an attempted murder-for-hire plot on Carole – will ‘finish what he set out to do’.
She said of Joe remaining in jail: ‘It’s such an absolute sense of relief because it’s not just been waiting yesterday and today, it’s been from the day he was sentenced that we have been concerned that he could receive a presidential pardon.’
Relief: Carole Baskin has expressed her ‘relief’ after learning her nemesis Joe Exotic’s request for a pardon from former US President Donald Trump has been denied
Carole then added that she remains fearful that others involved in the illegal tiger trade may still have plans to do her harm, given her stance against such activity.
She told the publication: ‘I feel safer from Joe but I don’t feel safe in general though. He can still finish what he set out to do and he’s got less of a reason not to do it now he’s already in jail.’
Addressing her nemesis, she added: ‘He was the easiest target for law enforcement to go after. The people who want me dead in this industry are still out there and are so much smarter than Joe was and so much more dangerous that there is never going to be a feeling of being safe until this entire industry is completely done.’
Joe Exotic’s legal team had previously said it is ‘disappointed’ that Trump didn’t parson the star, although they ‘respect’ that decision.
Fear: However, the star admitted she remains fearful that 57-year-old Joe Exotic – who is jailed for an attempted murder-for-hire plot on Carole – will ‘finish what he set out to do’
Eric Love, a private investigator who is a part of Team Tiger, said in a statement to DailyMail.com that Exotic’s supporters ‘will not rest until Joe’s injustice is corrected.’
‘140 million Joe Exotic fans had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. We are as disappointed that The President did not sign Joe’s Pardon, as we were confident yesterday that he would,’ Love said in the statement.
‘It is only because of you 140 million fans that Joe’s Pardon was even a possibility.’
Love added that that evidence has ‘made it clear’ that Exotic is not guilty.
‘Rather, he is a victim of the persons he trusted most,’ Love wrote. ‘Team Tiger, just this morning spent two hours on the telephone with Joe and listened to his Direct Appeal Oral Arguments by Brandon Sample in Colorado.’
Final hours: On Tuesday night, former US President Donald Trump granted a wave of pardons and commutations issued during his final hours in office
Earlier on Wednesday, Team Tiger said they ‘respect’ Donald Trump’s decision to not grant him a pardon despite them being so confident he’d be released from jail that they prepared a limo to pick the Tiger King star up from jail.
Out of the 143 pardons and commutations granted by Trump, Exotic was not one of them, which left Tiger King fans ‘absolutely livid’.
On Tuesday night, Trump, 74, granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued during his final hours in office.
Exotic, 57, Julian Assange, 49, or Edward Snowden, 37, were all expected to be considered for clemency, but Trump didn’t grant it to them. Trump did pardon other high-profile names and rappers Lil Wayne, 38, and Kodak Black, 23, who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses.
Confident: Joe’s legal team was so confident that Donald Trump would pardon him that they booked him a limo to pick him up from prison
‘It is the President’s Constitutional right to Pardon and we have to accept and respect his use of discretion. Our mission is just and continues,’ Exotic’s lawyer, Francisco Hernandez, shared in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.
‘Score remains 0:0 at the end of the first quarter. After an aggressive first quarter Hail Mary, team tiger didn’t score. Three quarters to go. #freejoeexotic,’ Hernandez added.
Exotic’s legal team had expected a pardon from the outgoing president and were even ready to pick him up in a limo from a Fort Worth prison to immediately get his hair done before seeing his husband Dillon Passage.
Love said early on Tuesday that Team Tiger expected the pardon ‘very soon’.
DailyMail.com reached out to Love for additional comment and details.
Disappointed: Eric Love sent a text to DailyMail.com noting that Team Tiger was ‘disappointed’ that Trump did not pardon Joe Exotic
But Love told KOCO on Monday: ‘We delivered everything that I want to do on this project and I am absolutely confident that we will receive the pardon tomorrow. I worked very hard on it.’
Team Tiger had a Dodge SUV limo rented from Heaven on Wheels ‘standing by’ to whisk Maldonado-Passage from FMC Prison in Fort Worth ‘to a secure location.’
Florida attorney John Phillips, the lawyer representing Anne McQueen, who was featured in Tiger King, told KOCO that insiders have told him Trump’s main focus was on people who have closer ties to him.
‘The hit TV show of COVID, I don’t think has the political capital. It’s a lack of lobbyists. It’s a lack of funds. It’s a lack of being able to play the game in Washington, DC,’ Phillips said.
‘Now, don’t get me wrong, President Trump is unpredictable. Can Trump just put his name down and it get approved? Yes. But there are so many people seeking pardons right now that affect Trump’s life after the presidency,’ Phillips said.
Plans: Joe Exotic’s legal team had expected a pardon and planned to pick him up in a limo from a Fort Worth prison to immediately get his hair done before seeing his husband Dillon Passage
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, has served roughly two years of a 22-year sentence after he was convicted on 17 federal charges in 2019 for animal abuse and an attempted murder-for-hire plot on Carole Baskin.
Maldonado-Passage, who owned and operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, shot to fame after Netlfix released its hit Tiger King series at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as Exotic, Trump did not grant clemency to himself, his children, or his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani after months of speculation.
White House advisers had reportedly cautioned Trump against a self-pardon over the last few months because they believed it would make him look guilty of something.
Trump, who officially left the White House on Wednesday, appeared to heed their warnings. Joe Biden was in as President within hours of Trump’s departure.
Last week, Exotic’s legal team flew to Washington, DC, to meet with White House aides for a last-minute pardon discussion.
Love told The Sun at the time that the ‘exit plan’ to take Exotic to a luxury ranch also included a helicopter.
‘The first thing that will happen: Joe will be taken off site and then placed in a helicopter with myself and a security team and an additional helicopter, we are going to go to a remote ranch, that’s remote to Fort Worth,’ he said.
Love added that Exotic will need about 48 hours of ‘decompression’ after being ‘institutionalised’.
Team Tiger will ‘make sure that he is loved, appreciated, catered to,’ Love told the outlet.
Sentence: Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, has served roughly two years of a 22-year sentence after he was convicted on 17 federal charges in 2019
‘He’s made it very clear, he wants to make sure his hair is done before he sees Dillon, and that’s important,’ he said.
‘You always want to be the best for your spouse and we can certainly agree and embrace that and we will facilitate that.’
Exotic was sentenced in January 2020 in his native Oklahoma after attempting to pay a hitman $3,000 to kill his nemesis Baskin – who sought to shut down his breeding of big cats.
In September, Exotic wrote Trump a letter pleading for an early release from prison while his representatives spent around $10,000 at Trump’s DC hotel in a bid to help his cause.
Fame: Joe Exotic shot to fame after Netlfix released its hit Tiger King series at the start of the coronavirus pandemic
Source: Daily Mail |World News