US President Donald Trump has decided to keep some files on the assassination of John F. Kennedy secret following appeals from the FBI and the CIA. The remaining trove of nearly 2,900 records has been published.
The US National Archives released the secret documents on Thursday, just hours before the legal deadline for their publication was set to expire. The long-awaited release is expected to shine additional light on the fatal Dallas shooting in 1963, which investigators attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine was himself shot and killed before the trial.
Many Americans believe that part of the story is being kept away from the public eye. Some conspiracy theories link the Kennedy assassination with the US intelligence apparatus, the military, or the Italian mafia.
Among the documents released on Thursday, there was a transcript of a November 24, 1963, conversation with J. Edgar Hoover, who was FBI director at the time.
The FBI informed police of a threat against the life of Oswald the night before he was killed. However, the police did not act on the tip, Hoover said.
US President Donald Trump approved the release of a 2,891-document trove, but decided that hundreds of additional documents will remain secret. According to White House officials cited by news agencies, Trump made this decision after the FBI and the CIA urged him to do so.
Read more: Donald Trump to allow release of JFK files
“I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted,” Trump said in a White House memo on Thursday. “At the same time, executive departments and agencies have proposed to me that certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.”
“I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation’s security,” Trump added.
WikiLeaks offers money
Trump also ordered the federal agencies to further review the unreleased documents within the next six months and make their case for keeping them secret. After the new deadline expires, documents should stay secret “only in the rarest of cases” sources said.
“There does remain sensitive information in the records,” including, for example, the identities of informants and their roles, an official told AFP.
Following the release, WikiLeaks offered a $100,000 (€86,000) reward for the still-unpublished documents on the Kennedy assassination, as long as those documents show “violations of law, inefficiency or administrative error.” The group’s founder, Julian Assange, said the delay was “inexcusable.”