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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A whistleblower complaint released by the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday alleges that President Trump used the power of his office to solicit foreign interference from Ukraine for the purpose of helping his 2020 re-election campaign.

The big picture: The allegations detailed in the complaint go beyond the summary of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released by the White House on Wednesday.

  • While the call is still core to the whistleblower's concerns, the complaint also lays out a pattern of behavior stretching back months that involves Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General Bill Barr and White House officials alarmed at what they're being asked to do.
The takeaways

1. Much of the information laid out in the report was exposed over the past weeks and months by reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and others — not to mention the fact that Trump himself also confirmed to the public that he had brought up the possibility of investigating Joe Biden in his call with Zelensky.

  • The whistleblower was not a direct witness to the phone call and alleged actions, but their description of the call, which was based on information from multiple White House officials, aligns with the memo released by the White House.

2. One of the main concerns that prompted the whistleblower to report their complaint was the White House's handling of the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call. They allege that the White House attempted to "lock down" the summary in a sensitive computer system designed to hold national security information.

  • The complaint states that a White House official called this action "an act of abuse" because the call "did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective" — supported by the fact that the released memo did not include any notable redactions.

3. Multiple U.S. officials told the whistleblower that Ukrainian leadership was "led to believe" that a phone call or meeting between Trump and Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed a willingness to "play ball" on issues related to investigating Joe Biden for corruption.

4. An initial review by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson found that despite "arguable political bias," he determined that the whistleblower complaint "appears credible." The Justice Department later blocked acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from turning over the complaint to Congress.

Go deeper: Read the complaint with summaries of each section

Go deeper

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, wins unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr. sitting on the back seat of a car in 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981.

State of play: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington ruled that Hinckley can be freed from all court supervision in 2022 if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow rules that were imposed on him after he was released from a Washington mental health facility in 2016 to live in Virginia, AP reports.