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SGOP Leader McConchie criticizes Trump’s Urlacher pardon: “Undermines the public’s faith in our system”

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

* Background is here if you need it. Tribune

Amid a slew of late-night actions in his final hours at the White House, President Donald Trump pardoned Casey Urlacher, a suburban mayor and the brother of Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Casey Urlacher, 41, faced federal charges alleging he acted as a recruiter and bagman for a sports gambling ring that raked in millions of dollars from hundreds of Chicago-area bettors. Urlacher, who is the mayor of the tiny Lake County suburb of Mettawa, pleaded not guilty to the charges last March.

A little more than a week after his brother was in a packed federal courtroom entering his not guilty plea, his famous brother paid a visit to Trump at the White House.

“This was a once in a lifetime experience!” Brian Urlacher posted on Instagram along with a photo of his Bears jersey laid out on the Resolute Desk in front of a smiling Trump. “Got to hang in the Oval Office with President Trump and my family. He could not have been any nicer or accommodating to all of us.”

* Urlacher finished second in a three-way Republican primary for state Senate behind Dan McConchie, who is now the Senate Republican Leader. I asked McConchie’s spokesperson for a comment on his constituent and former rival…

“I frankly don’t understand why President Trump would pardon someone who has yet to be convicted of a crime, except when it’s in the national interest,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie. “Pardons should be done on the merits of the case, not based on a relationship with the President. This sort of practice undermines the public’s faith in our system. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, not one based on people getting benefits just because of who they know.”

Interesting.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    I agree with everything Leader McConchie said in that statement. He’s right and kudos to him for speaking out.


  2. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    Amen brother.


  3. - Home - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:34 am:

    “This sort of practice undermines the public’s faith in our system”

    Hmmm, I wonder what else may have undermined the public’s faith in our system?


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    Leader McConchie, thank you.


  5. - Colin O'Scopy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    =He could not have been any nicer or accommodating to all of us.=

    Accommodating. I can’t think of a more appropriate word.


  6. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    Are we seeing the early stages of the adults in the GOP trying to take their party back from ther flat earth know nothings?


  7. - Pizza Man - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    While in total agreement with Leader McConchie, it’s the one perk that all presidents quite enjoy using or abusing. President Clinton did last-minute controversial pardons as did George H.W. Bush.

    All safely protected in the Constitution.


  8. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    Good on McConchie.

    I will say, pretty much every president has issued pardons that have been head scratchers.


  9. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    Presidents have always been petitioned for pardons, as long as I remember. Illegal gambling seems a pretty petty charge (the illegal rings would not need bagmen if there were not plenty of customers interested in the service it’s hard to find any victim here other than the taxman).


  10. - SAP - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Leader McConchie gets it.


  11. - Former Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==Leader McConchie gets it.==

    Some of us got it five years ago.


  12. - Independent - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    Why did Trump pardon Casey Urlacher? Easy, he is obsessed with celebrities. He has always wanted to be a celebrity, to be around celebrities, and to have the approval of celebrities. So when Brian Urlacher asked for the pardon his brother got it. I doubt Trump knew any of the particulars of the case, but he got to impress a celebrity.

    The power of the Presidential pardon should be severely curtailed. And yes, I thought this way even when Democrats were in the White House. At best the pardon power can right wrongs against the powerless. At worst it is used on a whim to reward powerful friends, or even allow co-conspirators to skate.


  13. - Pizza Man - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    Pardon me, but does Leader McConchie think that there may be a round 2 with Casey Urlacher?


  14. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    Cermak Rd - perhaps, but hearing some contrition from Urlacher would be welcome.


  15. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===…as long as I remember===

    I don’t remember this many pardons prior to someone being convicted, as in Urlacher’s case as well as Bannon. That’s an admission of guilt as far as I’m concerned. Urlacher was running a bookmaking operation and Bannon was fleecing Trump’s donors to line his own pockets.

    But I’m sure lots of other presidents have done this too. And I’m sure lots of Trump fans will tell me this is really no big deal.


  16. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    From DOJ:

    Can the President pardon someone before they are indicted, convicted, or sentenced for a federal offense against the United States?
    It would be highly unusual, but there have been a few cases where people who had not been charged with a crime were pardoned, including President Gerald Ford’s pardon of President Richard Nixon after Watergate, President Jimmy Carter’s pardon of Vietnam draft dodgers and President George H.W. Bush’s pardon of Caspar Weinberger. President Donald J. Trump pardoned Joseph Arpaio and others after they were charged and convicted, but prior to sentencing.

    https://www.justice.gov/pardon/frequently-asked-questions


  17. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    Thanks Precinct Captain.

    Highly unusual indeed.


  18. - Blake - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    I agree with Independent about curtailing the Presidential pardon. Even if it requires a constitutional amendment. It has been used to much for the rich & politically connected.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===prior to someone being convicted===

    Gov. Len Small was infamous for doing that.


  20. - Colin O'Scopy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    I also agree that the presidential pardon powers should be changed. I suggest that no pardon can be issued after June 30th up to and including the inauguration day in a presidential election year .

    This will compel the president to disclose pardons 6 or so months out from the election.


  21. - Too cute by half - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    I remember being blown away by McConchie breathlessly and unironically citing 40 year old outdated anti-cannabis propaganda at the Economic Impact Forum a few years ago. It was on the order of magnitude that would have made Nancy Regan and the DARE lion blush. It was practically just shy of saying it will make you grow hair on your palms.

    That being said, I think his take here is the right one; preliminary pardons are a very dangerous precedent to set. Kudos to to Leader McConchie in this one.


  22. - Too cute by half - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    Reagan*. Also when will Rich allow us to edit already posted comments? 😅


  23. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===Gov. Len Small was infamous for doing that.===

    Not for nothing, but Len Small is often ranked by historians as by far the worst governor in Illinois history. A fine role model he is not.


  24. - Annoin' - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    “undermines the public’s faith in our system.”
    Ah wasn’t that the Trump GOPies theme song for the last 4 years. Are we switching?


  25. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    Ford pardoning Nixon is the most famous example of pardoning someone who had not been charged with a crime


  26. - Ferris Wheeler - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    The Urlacher pardon doesn’t make my list of the top 100 most objectionable things ex-President Trump did, but it is nice of McConchie to finally notice something was amiss on his final day in office.


  27. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    That reminds me, Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey donated to McConchie when he was running against Brian Urlacher’s brother. That was weird. https://twitter.com/ILElectionData/status/702505662182371328


  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    === That was weird===

    IIRC, they were trying to paint Urlacher as a closet Dem.


  29. - Annoin' - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    The Urlacher item makes one wonder what Trump really got? For instance who was inside that Bears jersey when the HOFer slipped into the Oval?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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