explain away

[explain away] {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seemtrue or important.

John explained away his unfinished homework byshowing the teacher his broken arm in a cast.

It is hard toexplain away Abraham Lincoln's dream about being dead, which he had afew days before he was shot.

The man could not explain away thegun and the marked money from the bank robbery that the police foundin his car.