"I did not plagiarize. Absolutely not."
What about the giveaway Britishism (Johnson is British; Crowley is not) you repeated--that Nixon emerged from Watergate "with credit"?
"Come on, Tim, I've been using that phrase for a long time."
Chatterbox briefly considered dedicating the rest of his life to finding out whether Crowley has ever before used the phrase "with credit," and decided against it. Clearly, Crowley wasn't going to do even a Ruth Shalit (i.e., admit plagiarism but say it was inadvertent and trivial), which Chatterbox previously thought was the minimal amount of self-abnegation such a situation demanded. Crowley was just going to ... stonewall.
It's working. Aside from Chatterbox's rants on the subject, there continues to be no follow-up to the Times item (and an earlier one by the New York Post) in any news outlet tracked by Nexis. This provides further evidence that Bob Woodward is wrong when he argues in his new book, Shadow, that lying and obfuscating by public figures is inevitably self-destructive. Chatterbox remembers writing this before ("Why Clinton Was Better Off Lying"), but the archival link doesn't seem to be working just now, so he'll just plagiarize himself.