Why did Mueller stop short of concluding obstruction?

ABC's Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams discusses the next legal steps that could be taken.
1:51 | 04/18/19

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Transcript for Why did Mueller stop short of concluding obstruction?
Let's get right to Dan Abrams, watching this all day long with us. And Dan, I wanted to get to that line from Robert Mueller today, it got a lot of attention. He said, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would say so. We are unable to reach that judgment. They were unable to clear him. What did we learn in this 448-page report that helped answer that question why? Reporter: There are two broad reasons. One, it's hard to find obstruction of justice when you're talking about a president who has got wide power and authority, for example, to fire someone. But I think most importantly here, is that they applied justice department precedent, which says that you cannot indict a sitting president. Robert Mueller made it clear that was very important. He could have found that there wasn't enough evidence, but as we -- as you just pointed out, he could not say that based on where the evidence took him. He could have cleared him, he couldn't do that. There was something else he said, he said congress has the authority here, got a lot of ears perked up on capitol hill, of course, and we heard what Pierre asked the troerns today. Did Mueller want congress to decide this? Did Mueller know the A.G. Was going to clear the president himself? And you heard the A.G. Say that Mueller didn't indicate the purpose was to leave this to congress, but he added, I hope that wasn't his view, but he acknowledged he didn't know what the view was. Reporter: Kind of amazing that the two of them had not coordinated this coming into it. I think it is also clear, though, that there is a divide between Robert Mueller and the attorney general on the issue of obstruction of justice. And you even heard William Barr talk about the fact that he did not agree with some of the legal theories that Robert Mueller was using. Clear when up read the report that Mueller thinks that there was evidence of obstruction, specifically on particular instances. Barr made it clear he looks at it all, he does not think there's obstruction. That was the first view of a potential break between the two. Reporter: Absolutely. Dan, thank you. The president and his legal

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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