According to one former federal prosecutor, if special counsel Robert Mueller wanted to go after President Donald Trump's attorney John Dowd, he could have.
In a New York Times report, Joyce Vance explained that attorney-client privilege has a few exceptions and Dowd's actions fall under it.
"Lawyers can't engage in criminal conduct disguised as legal representation," she explained.
Stanford Law professor David Sklansky said that he understood that Dowd's actions weren't a huge focus of Mueller's office, given the plethora of examples they already compiled for obstruction.
"Given all that Mueller's team had on their plate, it doesn't strike me as unreasonable for them to have said, 'This is not what we want to spend our time on,'" he said.
Vance called interviewing Dowd an "obvious" decision, and there could be details about Mueller's decision.
In 1974 former President Richard Nixon said he had sought to signal to defendants in the Watergate investigation that they would be treated favorably "in return for their silence or false testimony,' "the Times recalled.
Dowd's message could have been "a thinly veiled offer of a pardon conditioned on Flynn keeping his mouth shut," said Sklansky. If so that would equate obstruction. Flynn would lose his attorney-client privilege because he would be considered to be part of a crime.
But that all hinges on the proper interpretation of what Dowd said in the voicemail.