NARA Releases Partial Cache of JFK Assassination Records

The National Archives and Records Administration has now released most of the remaining federal agency records associated with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, all assassination-related records had to be released by October 26, 2017, 25 years after the passage of the law. However, at the request of the FBI, CIA and other federal national security-related agencies, President Trump exercised his authority under the law to withhold approximately 300 additional records for an additional 180 days for further review. According to the New York Times, 2,891 documents were released on Thursday, but only 53 had never been previously disclosed. The rest had been made public but with redactions.

The JFK Act gives the president the authority to halt the release of documents if he finds it necessary based on “an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations,” and determines that said harm is “of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” Federal law enforcement and national security agencies were able to convince the president that the remaining records merited greater scrutiny. According to a memorandum released by the White House on October 26, any agency that seeks further postponement must report to the Archivist of the United States by March 12, 2018, describing the specific information within particular records that meets the standard for continuing to be withheld. The Archivist will then report to the president whether said information warrants continued withholding from public disclosure after the new deadline of April 26, 2018.

The new materials released are available online by clicking here.

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