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As Donald Trump edges closer to the day that he leaves the White House, there are a lot of rumours circulating Washington. The word that keeps popping up is 'pardon' and the US President has already utilised that power.
Everyone is wondering who will be next after former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, was granted a Presidential pardon.
Trump has been encouraged by right-wing commentators to pardon himself and his family to avoid a 'witch hunt' once he's out of office, as well as give the honour to his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Another name that has popped up is Joe Exotic - yes, that Joe Exotic.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage is currently in prison serving a 22-year sentence for 17 animal abuse offences and two charges of murder for hire against his arch rival Carole Baskin. Despite his crimes being pretty severe, sources have told ABC News that Exotic's name has been brought up more than once during murmurs in the capital.
While they are just rumours, it seems like the Tiger King star's lawyer believes they are close to getting a pardon from the Commander in Chief.
Eric Love told ABC: "We are waiting on the pen to hit the paper, we think we are very, very close."
It would be an incredible moment if that were to happen, especially considering Exotic hasn't done anything since being locked up to warrant his release.
Presidential pardons aren't a new thing and are usually employed by outgoing leaders on their last few days or weeks in office.
One of Barack Obama's last testaments while in the White House was commuting the sentence of nearly 340 prison inmates, including whistleblower Chelsea Manning and Puerto Rican activist Oscar López Rivera.
However, Trump has started the trend much earlier than his predecessors with Michael Flynn.
While former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty, his plea was eventually withdrawn and the US Justice Department said all charges would be dropped in May this year. However Federal district judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled the matter to be placed on hold.
Despite that, Flynn received a Presidential pardon last week.
Fox News' Sean Hannity warned the President to consider pardoning himself and his family, despite there being no charges against them. However, it's not completely out of the realm of possibility to issue preemptive pardons.
Former US President Jimmy Carter pardoned the Vietnam draft dodgers in 1977 before most of them had been charged by authorities and former President Gerald Ford pardoned President Nixon before he was charged the Watergate scandal.
We'll have to wait and see what happens over the coming weeks. Watch this space.
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