US National Archives releases JFK and MLK assassination files

The U.S. National Archives has released documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King.


WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – The U.S. National Archives has made more than 400 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy public. The documents were part of the CIA and FBI investigations into the assassination.

Some of the documents released included 17 audio files of interviews with a former KGB officer who defected to the United States in 1964. Yuri Nosenko, the defector, also claimed to be the one in charge of the KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald during his time in the Soviet Union.

Other documents that were part of the massive release include files related to the inquiry into the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was murdered only five years after President Kennedy in 1968.

The government has about five million documents related to the assassination, most of them already made public.

The remaining documents are scheduled for release by the end of October 2017. A 1992 law requires that the National Archives preserve the approximately five million pages of records surrounding the investigation.

The remaining records are files that were previously identified as assassination files but withheld in part or in full.

The records release law, enacted in response to a thirst from the public for transparency about the investigation, set up five categories of information that could be withheld from release and a board to review whether agencies were justified in postponing the release of records.

Part of the mystery surrounding the assassination has been that Oswald’s exact motives were never truly known. He was killed two days after the assassination by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Oswald had stayed in the Soviet Union until 1962, leaving many to believe he was a Soviet spy. However, according to released files, the Soviets believed he was sent there to spy on them.

Thousands more documents are expected to be released in October. Only President Trump has the power to stop the release, but only if he makes the case that releasing the documents would endanger national security.

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