President Trump and John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The lawyer for former national security adviser John Bolton responded on Wednesday to the White House's claim that a manuscript of Bolton's forthcoming book contains top-secret information.

What they're saying: Charles Cooper wrote in a letter, "We do not believe that any of that information could reasonably be considered classified, but given that Ambassador Bolton could be called to testify as early as next week, it is imperative that we have the results of your review of that chapter as soon as possible. Please do give me a call to let me know how we can work together toward that end."

Catch up quick: The White House made public on Wednesday a Jan. 23 letter addressed to Cooper. The letter claimed that Bolton's manuscript contains "significant amounts of classified information" that could "cause exceptionally grave harm" to U.S. national security.

  • The White House's letter was signed by Ellen Knight, the National Security Council's senior director for records, access and information security management.
  • A leak of Bolton's manuscript has already caused shockwaves in the impeachment trial against President Trump. The book explicitly alleges that Trump directly tied Ukrainian aid to investigations of Democrats Joe and Hunter Biden. Joe Biden is a leading candidate for his party's presidential nomination.

What to watch: The Senate will vote Friday on whether to call witnesses in the impeachment trial, potentially including Bolton.

Read Cooper's letter here:

Go deeper: Live updates: Senators get their turn for questions

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.