Published: Sun, October 22, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Will allow release of secret JFK files, says Trump

Will allow release of secret JFK files, says Trump

The CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose records make up the bulk of the batch, won't say whether they've appealed to the Republican president to keep them under wraps.

Lawmakers argued at the time that mandating the release of records within a 25-year timeframe would ensure transparency and address the countless conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's death.

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 October 26.

Kennedy assassination experts have been speculating for weeks about whether Trump would disclose the documents.

Trump can withhold the release of certain documents if he believes their release could pose harm to United States intelligence, law enforcement, the military or United States foreign relations.

Over the years, the National Archives has released most documents related to the case, but a final batch remains and only Mr Trump has the authority to decide whether some should continue to be withheld or released in redacted form.

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What are the JFK files?

Movie-goers quickly turned into letter-writers, as concerned citizens began demanding that Washington make the full set of files available. "Please do not allow exceptions for any agency of government", tweeted Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of a book about Kennedy, who has urged the president to release the files. The act created a review board known as the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) that oversaw the documents' release. One per cent of the records are completely secret.

Of the tens of thousands of documents already partially released, approximately 3,100 still remain classified.

The primary concern is the CIA's intelligence gathering methods and the identities of confidential sources who may still be alive, according to a report from Politico.

They are interested, however, to see if any new details emerge over Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy's assassin, activities in Mexico in the fall of 1963. But Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars this week that he personally lobbied Trump to publish all of the documents.

When the Archives do release the files, it has said it'll do so all at once - putting to rest some questions the American public may have about Kennedy's murder, but no doubt raising many more.

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