Trump to allow release of thousands of JFK files by National Archives
President Trump has tweeted he will allow the release of thousands of previously classified files related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The files are scheduled to be released on October 26, 2017. USA TODAY
President Trump said Saturday that he will allow more than 3,000 classified files on the JFK assassination to be released next week by the National Archives as ordered by Congress.
The classified files were scheduled to be made public by Oct. 26, barring intervention by the president, under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted.
The White House later issued a statement to reporters, saying “The President believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise.”
Under the terms of the Congressional act, Trump could have blocked the release on the grounds that making the material public would harm intelligence, law enforcement, military operations or foreign relations.
Most of the files are believed to be from the 1960s and 1970s, stemming from the 1963 assassination and aftermath. But several dozens were generated by government agencies in the 1990s in apparent response to the conspiracy theories raised by the controversial Oliver Stone film “JFK.”
The National Archives has said that, pending presidential approval, it would make all the released documents available on its website in a single day by Oct. 26.
Trump’s tweet did allow some wiggle room for last-minute exclusions by noting that his decision was “subject to receipt of further information.”
The Washington Postreported earlier Saturday that an unidentified National Security Council official said in an interview that some unnamed federal agencies were asking Trump not to release an unknown number of the files because they involved sources and methods used by the agencies.
Gerald Posner, author of the book Case Closed, which argues that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination, tells CNN the most revealing files to be released involve circumstances around Oswald’s trip to Mexico City seven weeks before the shooting in Dallas.
During the visit, Oswald tried to obtain visas from the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy, according to documents released in 1999.