When Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher visited President Trump in the White House last year, and posted various messages supportive of Trump on social media, there was speculation that Trump could reward Urlacher by pardoning his brother. And that’s exactly what has happened.
With less than 12 hours remaining in his presidency, Trump’s White House announced that Casey Urlacher has received a presidential pardon.
“President Trump granted a full pardon to Casey Urlacher,” the White House said in a statement. “This pardon is supported by his friends and family, and countless members of his community. Mr. Urlacher has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling.”
Casey Urlacher was facing federal charges related to a sports gambling ring that prosecutors say brought in millions of dollars. He faced up to 10 years in prison. Trump took the unusual step of pardoning Urlacher while his case was still pending. Pardons are usually handed out only after a person has been convicted of a crime.
Casey Urlacher was one of several people charged for involvement in the sports gambling ring. None of them have famous brothers, and none of them were pardoned by Trump.
The Bears distanced themselves from Urlacher in August after Urlacher made social media posts opposing protests in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, and indicating support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin and killed two people during protests of the Blake shooting.