Either Joe Exotic’s attorneys know something about Donald Trump’s final-day plans, or they really know their PR business. The one-time Tiger King has appealed for a pardon from Trump to escape his 22-year sentence for a murder plot against his rival, and the clock is running. So too is the limo, apparently, and the hair clippers to boot:
Celebratory plans are already in place for Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, and it has been revealed the first thing he wants to do as a free man is have his hair cut.
‘This time tomorrow, we’re going to be celebrating,’ private investigator Eric Love, who is leading Exotic’s case, exclusively told Metro.co.uk. ‘We have good reason to believe it will come through.
‘He hasn’t had his hair done in two-and-a-half years. That’s the first order of business. Then we’ll probably go and get some pizzas, steak, maybe a McRib.’
They’re so confident — or so in need of attention — that they have already hired the limo and the hairdresser. The first moments of Exotic’s freedom will be kept private, they claim:
“We’re confident enough we already have a limousine parked about half a mile from the prison. We are really in action mode right now,” he said of a stretch limo near the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth in Texas.
Once word of a pardon comes through, the driver will pick up the legal team as well as a team for the flamboyant star’s hair, makeup and wardrobe, Love told The Sun in a separate interview.
“We are not going to have any cameras with us. It’s going to be a very private moment,” Love said — but purely because Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, wants to be glammed up first.
“Joe is a very flamboyant person — Joe is a colorful personality. And if you look at someone when they’ve been incarcerated, they don’t look like that when they’re coming out,” Love told The Sun.
“So Joe’s got to have that platinum done, and well that’s what we got — hair, wardrobe and makeup. We’ve got the best in the business,” he said.
Give these guys credit for working all the angles. Under any other circumstances and with any other president, Exotic would have zero chance for a clemency action. And even in this president under these circumstances, we haven’t seen any indication or even a hint that Trump is considering a pardon or commutation for Exotic. His lawyers had to sue the Department of Justice over their outright rejection of their petition, but later withdrew it and claimed they had information that it had gotten to Trump in another path.
It’s not the first attempt to win a pardon through a PR campaign even after that lawsuit. Apparently dissatisfied with the results, the attorneys claimed they had a meeting with a “high level” administration official to discuss the pardon application. That meeting was due to take place on … January 6th. They even flew in on a plane with Exotic’s visage painted on it to make an impression, only to be upstaged by Trump’s rally and the insurrection that took place immediately afterward. Oops.
Their pitch seems to be that a pardon for Exotic would distract the media away from the Joe Biden inauguration. That seems highly doubtful, but even if Trump bought that as a possibility, he has other celebrity pardons to issue for that purpose. It looks increasingly probable that Trump will pardon rapper Lil Wayne, for instance, which will be noted but hardly distract from the day’s news. If Trump really wants a media distraction, he could pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, celebrities with far larger fan bases — or he could pardon his own favorite celebrity, himself. A presidential self-pardon would almost certainly distract from the inaugural activities, at least for an hour or two, and occupy some parts of the news cycle for weeks. Joe Exotic would be just another blip on the chaos radar.
At least a limo driver and a hairdresser will get a payday out of this. Hope Exotic’s attorneys tip well if the PR campaign doesn’t pay off.