"Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened," Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 21 октября 2017 г.
The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 stipulates the release of thousands of secret documents by October 26, 2017, and only the president has the authority to extend the deadline. The law was aimed at putting conspiracy theories to rest through the disclosure of the documents.
The scheduled release is expected to include over 3,000 documents that, as many believe, would shed light on the 1963 tragedy.
According to The Washington Post, experts who have studied the assassination suggested that the documents could be some of the most "intriguing" because many of them concern Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City two months before the American president was shot in Dallas.
Experts believe that the CIA and the FBI may have known about Oswald’s intense contacts with Soviet and Cuban spies.
"I’ve always considered the Mexico City trip the hidden chapter of the assassination. … Oswald was meeting with Soviet spies and Cuban spies, and the CIA and FBI had him under aggressive surveillance. Didn’t the FBI and CIA have plenty of evidence that he was a threat before the assassination? If they had acted on that evidence, maybe it wouldn’t have taken place," Philip Shenon, a journalist and the author of a book on the Warren Commission, told the newspaper.
Shenon added that the "incompetence and bungling" of the CIA and the FBI could be exposed when the documents are released.
Jefferson Morley, a former journalist who has studied the assassination, said that the remaining documents may contain information on senior CIA officers who likely knew details of the agency’s surveillance of Oswald in Mexico City. He also suggested that they would give a better understanding of how Oswald nurtured his plan.
Meanwhile, Judge John Tunheim told The Associated Press last month that the scheduled release is unlikely to provide any revelations on Kennedy’s assassination and put an end to all of the conspiracy theories around it. Tunheim was chairman of the independent agency in the 1990s that made public many assassination records.
He, however, suggested that the trove may contain important details that were regarded irrelevant by the Assassination Records Review Board in the past.
"There could be some jewels in there because in our level of knowledge in the 1990s is maybe different from today," Tunheim said.
There have been mixed reactions on social media to Trump’s decision not to censor the release.
Trump acts all powerful. Congress ordered, in 1992 all gov't docs. related to the Kennedy assassination be declassified on October 26, 2017.— Vince Dumond (@DumondVince) 22 октября 2017 г.
It appears we may find out about the Kennedy assassination before we find out about Trump's tax returns. https://t.co/OUscnDhaiC— J. Dice 🎲 (@jdice03) 21 октября 2017 г.
It's nice that Trump's releasing all the Kennedy files, but I'm waiting for the ones on area 51.— Geo (@Agriking) 22 октября 2017 г.
Smart move. Leverage over the agencies investigating you and a distraction for the people.— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) 21 октября 2017 г.
Please unblock Obamas records now too— Amy Margolin (@AmyJillDavis) 21 октября 2017 г.