It’s been more than a half-century since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and finally, after years of speculation surrounding his death, President Trump announced Saturday that he intends to release never-before-seen government files related to the investigation into Kennedy’s killing.
The White House said in a statement to Politico earlier this week that they are working “to ensure that the maximum amount of data can be released to the public” by next week’s deadline.
“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.
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
In 1992, Congress ruled that all assassination documents can be released within 25 years, unless the president asserts that doing so would harm intelligence, law enforcement, military operations or foreign relations.
The National Archives has until Oct. 26 to disclose the remaining files related to Kennedy’s 1963 assassination, unless Trump intervenes.
The Trump administration has been questioned for weeks as to whether the president would allow the documents to be declassified. The CIA and FBI, whose records make up the bulk of the batch, have declined to say whether they’ve appealed to the Republican president to keep them under wraps.
The still-secret documents include more than 3,000 files that have never been seen by the public and more than 30,000 that have been released previously, but with redactions.
“The American public deserves to know the facts, or at least they deserve to know what the government has kept hidden from them for all these years,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of a book about Kennedy.
“It’s long past the time to be forthcoming with this information,” he added.