Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1) is clear. It states that federal judges “must not participate” in plea discussions between a defendant and the United States. There are sound policy reasons that support such a strong line. There is an inherent friction between the roles of judge and participant in plea negotiations. The involvement of a district court judge or Magistrate-Judge in what is by nature a rather adversarial process could easily be perceived a coercive by a defendant, especially if the judge comments, even in passing, on the case’s eventual outcome or the quality of the evidence.