It is disturbing to see the excuses offered on behalf of Trump for conduct, which if engaged in by anyone else, would be prosecuted as a clear effort to impede a federal investigation. I am sure many of my colleagues who both defend and prosecute in federal criminal cases have often seen persons under invesigation or pending trial locked up and, thereafter, prosecuted for obstruction because of comments to potential witnesses or to investigators suggesting that they not pursue an investigative lead, or back off, or not cooperate. Comments they made that are less clear re the intent than Trump’s and made by persons with less power to reward or punish those who are sought to be influenced than the powers possessed by a president. And, contrary to what some commentators have suggested, at least in my cases – the jury has been instructed that the defendant did not need to know that an official proceeding was pending before a federal grand jury or court. Trump may get a pass for this – but many others have not – and in the future will not – for less egregious conduct.