Key Words: Former acting attorney general turns heads with latest Trump defense

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‘Abuse of power is not a crime.’

That’s the defense Matthew Whitaker, the former acting U.S. attorney general, offered up in a Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night.

“Let’s fundamentally boil it down,” he continued. “The Constitution is very clear that there has to be some pretty egregious behavior, and [congressional critics of President Trump] cannot tell the American people what this case is even about.”

After House testimony from veteran diplomat Bill Taylor, called out of retirement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to serve as Ukraine envoy, one might argue with Whitaker’s assessment of the impeachment push as inscrutable. Taylor delivered an opening statement on Tuesday linking a delay in U.S. military aid to Ukraine and an agreement to investigate President Trump’s political foes.

See: It took career diplomat Bill Taylor — who complied with a House subpoena to appear, after the State Department reportedly sought to block his testimony — a full hour just to read his opening statement

As a reminder, the articles of impeachment against both Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon included abuse of power as a key pillar. But, today, Whitaker, with Ingraham in support, sees it as an attack by “global elitists and careerists” who want to punish Trump for “upsetting the apple cart.”

Watch the interview:

Whitaker immediately began trending on Twitter TWTR, -1.46%  , where his unorthodox Fox remarks were received in a perhaps more predictable manner: