President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that he will allow the release of never before seen documents related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.
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
The classified documents are scheduled to be released Thursday, Oct. 26, the date set 25 years ago by Congress under a bill signed by then President George H.W. Bush. The cache of documents includes 3,100 documents never seen by the public and over 30,000 files previously released in redacted form.
Recent reports, citing senior administration officials, suggested that Trump may extend the classified status of certain documents drafted in the 1990s, due to concerns they might reveal recent American intelligence tactics and operations.
A congressional official who has been monitoring the situation told Politico that the CIA was lobbying Trump to keep some portion of the documents classified due to security concerns.
“Everything is in flux,” the official said. “I guess the president could change his mind at the last minute. But unless there is a dramatic change of heart, there will not be an absolutely full release of this information. I think you’ll see a lot of the files next week. Just not all of them, unfortunately. And a lot of documents that should have been released in full won’t be—there will be deletions.”
An already released index of the documents shows that the vast majority of them were created in the 1960s and 1970s, but there are roughly a dozen documents dating from the 1990s, many of which are likely letters from the CIA to a federal review board deciding how many of the assassination related documents should be released to the public.
Kennedy scholars are hopeful that the trove of documents will provide insight into shooter Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City weeks before he killed Kennedy. Oswald’s stated reason for making the trip was to secure visas that would allow him to enter the Soviet Union and Cuba, according to the Warren Commission.
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