WASHINGTON, October 27, 2017 – President Donald Trump has announced the release of more than 2,800 files related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The President announced Thursday via Twitter that he is currently withholding some of the files, however, but promises to release more of them next spring.
Trump appears to be honoring the request of CIA Director Mike Pompeo and others who request that certain information not be released. That information includes the names and addresses of people still living that are mentioned in these files or possibly still-active intelligence procedures.
Trump’s decision follows a meeting with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and other intelligence agency officials.
Under the 1992 statute covering the Kennedy assassination files, the body of remaining unreleased files was scheduled to be released October 26, 2017, barring any presidential intervention. In a memo, Trump stated his decision to release these documents provides full access to the President Kennedy Assassination Records:
“The American public expects – and deserves – its government to provide as much access as possible to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records so that the people may finally be fully informed about all aspects of this pivotal event. Therefore, I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted.”
Trump has received increased pressure from officials from the FBI, CIA and other federal agencies urging him to withhold some documents contain sensitive national security and law enforcement information. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says other files will have a further review before their release in the next few weeks.
Trump’s memo instructs officials to release as many files as possible by April 26, 2018.
Included among the files released this week are details on CIA plots to kill Castro and Dominican Republic President Rafael Trujillo. Also noted is then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s order to the agency to follow a lead on Jack Ruby. The files show that the FBI was tracking Oswald in August 1963.
Other files include notes from committees in the original investigation of the assassination of JFK. Also released are files pertaining to the 1968 assassination of U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Some of the notes were lists of newspaper articles or documents pertinent to these cases.
Thus far, none of the files revealed have proved to be information bombshells. This supports, at least for now, the Federal government’s long-held assessment that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot and killed President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.