Saturday morning, President Donald Trump announced that he had authorized the release of tens of thousands of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The documents represents the last batch of unreleased material held by the National Archives on the events of November, 1963, and the subsequent investigation.
A 1992 panel that reviewed the documents set a 25-year hold on their release, and only then, the documents could only be released by Presidential order.
Kennedy conspiracy theorists believe the documents may shed light into Lee Harvey Oswald’s motivations and actions before the assassination, including a possible meeting with the Russians in Mexico.
Roger Stone has told reporters that CIA Director Mike Pompeo has lobbied the President not to release the documents.
Kennedy assassination experts have been speculating for weeks about whether Trump would disclose the documents. The 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act required that the millions of pages — many of them contained in CIA and FBI documents — be published in 25 years, by Oct. 26. Over the years, the National Archives has released most of the documents, either in full or partially redacted.
But one final batch remains, and only the president has the authority to extend the papers’ secrecy past the October deadline. In his tweet, Trump seemed to strongly imply he was going to release all the remaining documents. But he also hedged, suggesting that if, between now and Oct. 26, other government agencies made a strong case not to release the documents, he wouldn’t. Also, Trump was unclear about whether he would publish all of the documents in full or with some of them redacted.
Though Kennedy assassination experts say they don’t think the last batch of papers contains any major bombshells, the president’s decision to release the documents could heighten the clarity around the assassination, which has fueled so many conspiracy theorists, including Trump himself.
The assassination experts do suspect the papers will shed light on the activities of Oswald while he was traveling in Mexico City in late September 1963 and courting Cuban and Soviet spies.