“The President believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise,” a White House official said Saturday afternoon.
Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump who wrote a book alleging that Johnson was the driving force behind Kennedy’s assassination, had personally urged the president to make the files public, he told far-right conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones this past week.
“Yesterday, I had the opportunity to make the case directly to the president of the United States by phone as to why I believe it is essential that he release the balance of the currently redacted and classified JFK assassination documents,” Stone said, adding that “a very good White House source,” but not the president, had told him the Central Intelligence Agency, “specifically CIA director Mike Pompeo, has been lobbying the president furiously not to release these documents.”
“Why? Because I believe they show that Oswald was trained, nurtured and put in place by the Central Intelligence Agency. It sheds very bad light on the deep state,” he said.
After the president announced his decision, Stone tweeted: “Yes ! victory !”
The files that were withheld in full were those the Assassination Records Review Board deemed “not believed relevant,” Tunheim said. Its members sought to ensure they weren’t hiding any information directly related to Kennedy’s assassination, but there may be nuggets of information in the files that they didn’t realize were important two decades ago, he said.
The classified documents are scheduled to be released Thursday, Oct. 26, the date set 25 years ago by Congress under a bill signed by then-President George H.W. Bush. The cache of documents includes 3,100 documents never seen by the public and over 30,000 files previously released in redacted form.
An already released index of the documents shows that the vast majority of them were created in the 1960s and 1970s, but there are roughly a dozen documents dating from the 1990s, many of which are likely letters from the CIA to a federal review board deciding how many of the assassination-related documents should be released to the public.
Kennedy scholars are hopeful that the trove of documents will provide insight into shooter Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City weeks before he killed Kennedy. Oswald’s stated reason for making the trip was to secure visas that would allow him to enter the Soviet Union and Cuba, according to the Warren Commission.