Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Will Chris Kelly's trial happen tomorrow?

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*** Update: Chris Kelly and his lawyers, as well as federal prosecutors, were just up inside a federal courtroom in a closed session. Are they discussing a plea?
No one would say. U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle told the parties to return at 2:15 p.m. ***

Christopher Kelly is supposed to go to trial tomorrow.
Will he? His lawyer wouldn't exactly give a straight answer.
Kelly, one of Rod Blagojevich's closest friends, his ex-adviser and fund-raiser, is accused in an alleged contract corruption scheme at O'Hare Airport.
He's just filed a motion asking that his trial be moved because of publicity surrounding the release of the ex-governor's book.
"We've filed a motion for a continuance because of pre-trial publicity because of Blagojevich's book," Kelly's lawyer, Michael Monico said.
Is this just a delay for Kelly to weigh whether he should flip on his old friend or will he plead guilty in the case?
Monico wouldn't give a definitive answer.
"We're going to trial," Monico said initially. But when pressed, Monico abruptly ended the conversation with this Chicago Sun-Times reporter.
In a filing today, Monico asks for an October court date, arguing it would distance Kelly from media attention surrounding Blagojevich. The former governor appeared on the "Today Show" this morning and has other New York talk show appearances planned this week.
"This barrage of media attention has the significant potential to poison the jury pool against Mr. Kelly, who was Mr. Blagojevich's campaign finance chair and close
associate for many years," a filing in federal court today states. "Due to this overwhelming media attention we do not believe that Mr. Kelly can receive a fair trial at this time."
Monico is asking that additional questions be asked of jurors to uncover any Blago taint.
Kelly pleaded guilty earlier this year in a tax case. Then he was hit with two more indictments, including having been charged along with the governor.
Kelly has repeatedly said he would not cooperate against Rod Blagojevich. But, over the summer, he had some preliminary talks with the government, sources said.
Those talks broke down at some point.
It's no secret that the government would see a Kelly deal as a coup. They've wanted him badly enough that they've charged him three times.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on September 8, 2009 10:32 AM.

Blago on Today: Shout it from the mountaintop. was the previous entry in this blog.

Kelly in courthouse. Closed hearing. is the next entry in this blog.

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