He explained the passage that appeared to be copied from Mr. O'Rourke's book by saying that Mr. O'Rourke gave him permission.
Contacted at his home in New Hampshire, Mr. O'Rourke said that he had never heard of Mr. Domenech and did not recall meeting him.
"I wouldn't want to swear in a court of law that I never met the guy, Mr. O'Rourke said of Mr. Domenech, "but I didn't give him permission to use my words under his byline, no."
Yah, look, this was ridiculous from the beginning. I'm sure it's quite possible Ben chatted with O'Rourke and said "Dude I wanna update your party description for my college!" and O'Rourke said "yeah, great idea!"
But that isn't permission to rip off most of it while changing just a few words.
17-year-olds do dumb stuff, their 24-year-old versions shouldn't be trying to justify that stuff.