UPDATE — 11/4, 9:58 a.m. EDT: A CIA memo from 1975 released Friday shows a search of internal records found President Kennedy’s assassinator, Lee Harvey Oswald, had no “conceivable” connection to the spy agency, and that no other government entity had attempted to secretly contact Oswald.
University of Virginia political scientist Dr. Larry Sabato, reviewed the nearly 700 pages of government documents made public by the National Archives, pointing out that much of the content has been redacted.
Friday’s release also includes FBI files on an investigation of Martin Luther King Jr. A summarization of King’s profile ordered by then-Director J. Edgar Hoover makes outlandish accusations of the civil rights leader, including homosexual behavior and collusion with the Communist Party.
On Thursday, Oct. 26, President Trump approved the release of more than 2,800 documents compiled by the FBI, CIA and other defense agencies regarding the investigation of the assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy.
The President John F. Kennedy Records Collection Act of 1992 required all documents related to the investigation of the assassination be released pending approval from the president of the United States after 25 years. However, around 300 documents have been kept confidential due to requests from defense agencies arguing they would compromise national security.
Trump directed said agencies to re-review the documents and explain in detail why they may threaten national security within 180 days. After six months, Trump will review the arguments and decide what should or should not be released.
Many argue that by keeping a significant number of documents confidential Trump is fueling the conspiracy stories that have surrounded the Kennedy assassination for years.
“[E]xecutive 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,” Trump said in a public memo. “I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation’s security.”
The documents released contain information regarding Kennedy’s assassination, Harvey Lee Oswald’s assassination, Oswald’s trip to Mexico prior to the assassination, and the Soviet Communist Party’s reaction to the assassinations.
The total collection compiles more than 5 million records. Historians looking over the documents are primarily looking to fill in the history of the case and find evidence of how the FBI and CIA hid evidence during the investigation.
Many feel that by keeping nearly 300 documents confidential, the administration is fueling speculation surrounding the assassination and encouraging conspiracy theories.
However, Trump has reportedly made statements regarding getting all the information made public if it is not a threat to national security.
[CNN] [ABC News] [AP]