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Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Early details are here from the John Bolton book that President Trump's legal threats are sending to the top of the bestseller lists.

The big picture: Bolton claims Trump asked China to help him win in 2020. He also throws his former colleagues under the bus and taunts Democrats for committing “impeachment malpractice.”

  • Bolton had a reputation as a prolific note taker, filling yellow legal pad after yellow legal pad with notes.

Highlights from a copy obtained by the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker:

  • Impeachment: Bolton says Democrats failed by focusing the probe on Ukraine rather than on other cases involving China and Turkey.
  • Gossip: Bolton alleges Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped him a note calling Trump "full of shit" during a 2018 meeting with Kim Jong-un.
  • Trump gaffes: Bolton alleges Trump didn't know the U.K. was a nuclear power and claims Trump asked if Finland was part of Russia.
  • Journalists: Bolton alleges Trump privately told him reporters deserve prison. "These people should be executed. They are scumbags."

Bolton's own words, via an excerpt published in the WSJ:

  • "Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome."
  • "I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise."
  • "At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do."
  • "One of Trump’s favorite comparisons was to point to the tip of one of his Sharpies and say, 'This is Taiwan,' then point to the historic Resolute desk in the Oval Office and say, 'This is China.'”

Between the lines: House intel chair Adam Schiff, who led the Democratic impeachment probe, tweeted his commentary on the book: "When Bolton was asked, he refused, and said he’d sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book. Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot."

The bottom line: Bolton's book is scheduled to go public on June 23. The House impeachment vote was on Dec. 18.

Go deeper: Read more highlights

Go deeper

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"

Photo: BernieSanders.com

In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

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