Donald Trump could include Tiger King star Joe Exotic in a pardoning spree that will test the limits of presidential power.
Mr Trump is reportedly considering pardons for as many as 20 people before he leaves office, including the star of Netflix series Tiger King, his family and himself.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, is serving a 22-year sentence for a murder-for-hire plot that was chronicled in the hit show about his life.
The only thing holding the President back from the spree is the worry that a pardon looks like an admission of guilt.
Donald Trump could include Tiger King star Joe Exotic (pictured) in a pardoning spree that will test the limits of presidential power
Mr Trump (pictured) is reportedly considering pardons for as many as 20 people before he leaves office, including the star of Netflix series Tiger King, his family and himself
This is a particular concern when it comes to himself, his family and his personal lawyer.
Having lost the election, pardons are one of the few ways left for Mr Trump to exercise power before he leaves office on January 20.
This week Eric Love, an attorney for Mr Maldonado-Passage, told ABC News a pardon was possible.
Let’s shake on it Don, says Biden
Joe Biden has urged Donald Trump to attend his inauguration so they can shake hands and mark the ‘end of the chaos’ of the last four years.
The President-elect said it was ‘totally Mr Trump’s decision’, but that he wanted him present at the ceremony on January 20 because it was in the best interests of the country and the wider world.
A month on from the bitterly fought election, Mr Trump still hasn’t conceded defeat despite Mr Biden winning by more than seven million votes.
Instead he has shared dozens of conspiracy theories about voter fraud on social media, all of which are unproven.
Mr Biden said in an interview with CNN: ‘I think it would be important only in one sense ... in the sense that we are able to demonstrate at the end of this chaos that he’s created that there is peaceful transfer of power, with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands and moving on.
‘I really worry about the image we’re presenting to the rest of the world.’
He said: ‘We are waiting on the pen to hit the paper, we think we are very, very close.’
A White House source confirmed to ABC News that they had heard from Mr Love.
Others in line for a pardon could include former contractors employed by private military company Blackwater who took part in the notorious shooting of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad.
Seventeen Iraqis were killed and 20 were injured in the incident in September 2007 which led to four former contractors being found guilty in US courts.
It was reported that Mr Trump is considering a total of 20 pardons including aides and associates.
They may include personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors for his business dealings.
Mr Trump may pardon his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both act as close advisers to him.
He may also consider one for himself, having tweeted ‘I have the absolute right to PARDON myself’.
The constitution is a grey area on a president self-pardoning and it would likely end up in the Supreme Court, with most scholars saying Mr Trump would lose.
Mr Trump’s 27 pardons so far have been based on showmanship and personal relationships.
They include 19th century suffragist Susan B. Anthony, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and former Trump adviser Roger Stone, who lied to Congress.
This month Mr Trump gave a pardon to his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI.
This week, court documents were unsealed in Washington which revealed a ‘bribery for pardon’ plot involving Mr Trump.
The scheme would allegedly involve an individual giving the President a large campaign donation in exchange for clemency.
The New York Times reported that the plot involved associates of Hugh Baras, a psychologist who was jailed for 30 months for tax evasion and improperly claiming social security benefits.