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

Blagojevich trial: NFL player part of plot to win presidential pardon of Blago pal?

Reporting with Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney

One of Rod Blagojevich's best pals, Christopher Kelly, had plotted to get a presidential pardon from President Bush, government witness Lon Monk just testified.

Kelly wanted Bernie Kosar to approach: "(Then-Florida Governor) Jeb Bush and then go to President Bush and then pardon Chris," Monk said. "Somehow they were linked to the signing of this horse-racing bill," he said.

What was Rod Blagojevich's reaction to this plot?: "It seems kind of far-fetched," Monk said of Rod Blagojevich.

The pardon never happened and Monk didn't elaborate on whether any of the contacts even happened.

Kelly, who committed suicide last year, had been charged at that point but not with any wrongdoing involving Blagojevich.

Kosar, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback, once gave Blagojevich a gift and was listed on campaign solicitation list.

In a March, 2009 article, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about Kosar's presence on a list as a fund-raising target:

"The list includes a broad range of fund-raising targets, from White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to onetime Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar to promoters of mixed martial arts, which Blagojevich legalized in Illinois in 2008."

An attorney for Kosar had no comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 14, 2010 2:47 PM.

Lon Monk: Johnston worried "we were all doing something wrong" was the previous entry in this blog.

Attorney for Robert Blagojevich starts cross-examination is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.