Joe Exotic's legal team is throwing a Hail Mary in hopes of getting his pardon request in front of Donald Trump before he leaves office -- and they want a judge to force the issue.
The 'Tiger King's' legal team just filed new docs asking a court to compel the Office of the Pardon Attorney -- the wing of the White House that vets pardon requests -- to get Joe's application on Trump's desk for a final decision, as they say only he can make it.
It's kinda technical, but long story short ... Joe's team says they initially filed for a pardon in early September, and also a waiver to be exempt from a rule that says you have to wait 5 years after being convicted before you can ask for a pardon.
Joe was convicted for the murder-to-hire plot against Carole Baskin in 2019 ... so he's very early in his ask.
Joe's lawyers claim that no more than a few days after Joe filed, the Pardon Attorney's office got back to him with a flat-out denial of his request to get that waiver. No explanation was provided, and the decision was final ... according to Joe's team.
They believe Joe's application never went through the normal screening process ... which would have POTUS weigh-in for a final decision, with the Pardon Attorney's recommendation attached for consideration.
In their docs, Joe's team cries foul ... claiming the Pardon Attorney overstepped their authority and tried sweeping Joe's application under the rug due to the 5-year rule. In the docs, the team doesn't explain under what grounds Joe should be exempt, but they want his app pushed through to the Oval.
Remember, Joe's team seemed confident earlier this year they'd be able to get Trump's say-so springing Joe from prison. They'd made a couple trips to D.C. and circled the White House in a huge tour bus.
Alas, sounds like that was all done in vain, because the paperwork never even got to Trump.
Of course, Trump is well aware of Joe Exotic -- since he mentioned him by name in a press conference once -- but it's kinda now or never.
The team seems fed up with getting the run-around, and wants a federal judge to force the Pardon Attorney to do their bidding.