The topic was brought up to Trump in the middle of a White House briefing about the ongoing coronavirus crisis. A New York Post reporter asked the president if he would consider Exotic’s request for a pardon, which he made last month.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who said he binged through the popular docuseries in just two sittings, joked Tuesday during a SiriusXM’s “Jim Norton and Sam Roberts” radio show interview that he would lobby his dad to pardon Exotic.
That provided the basis for the question Wednesday during the White House briefing.
"I don't know. I know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what? What did he do?" an apparently amused Trump responded before asking other reporters "Would you recommend a pardon?”
None of them answered.
As for the pardon, he said, “I’ll take a look," though judging from the tone of the exchange, it's unclear just how serious that look would be.
Exotic, whose legal name is currently Joe Maldonado-Passage, was found guilty in 2019 of hiring hitman to kill his longtime rival and animal activist Carole Baskin. He’s currently serving 22 years, but claims he was wrongfully convicted.
On March 19, the following message was posted to Exotic's Facebook page: “The Trump Administration must be made aware of the Overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the Oath of their position which is truth and Justice for all.”
Along with that overture was posted a copy of Exotic's civil lawsuit against the U.S. government and a former business partner for $94 million.
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