President Trump delayed on Thursday evening the release of thousands of pages of classified documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination, bowing to pressure from the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies still seeking to keep some final secrets about the nearly 54-year-old investigation.
The president allowed the immediate release of 2,800 records by the National Archives, following a last-minute scramble to meet a 25-year legal deadline. Following lobbying by national security officials, the remaining documents will be reviewed during a 180-day period. In a memo released by the White House, Trump said: “I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted. 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.”
The records were put online at 7:30 p.m. The thousands of field reports, cables and interview summaries from dozens of FBI, CIA and congressional investigators reveal the minutiae of a chase for information that spanned decades and covered continents. Usually typed, stamped “Secret” and often annotated by hand, the files are a paper trail of detective grunt work, leads exhausted, dead-ends encountered, sources checked and rechecked.