After promising to release all 3,100 classified JFK files to the public, President Trump decided at the last minute to block the release of hundreds of secret documents at the urging of the FBI and the CIA and instead put them under a six-month review to determine whether they can ever be released.
In a memo, Trump said he “has no choice” but to withhold the information as requested by government agencies, citing national security concerns.
Trump is set to release 2,800 of the 3,100 government records on the National Archive’s website Thursday evening.
In 1992, Congress set a deadline to release the files under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
Trump announced last week that he’d allow the files to be released, tweeting “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long-blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.”
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) October 21, 2017
“The long-anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!” he teased in a Wednesday tweet.
The Hill adds:
There is reportedly anxiety in the government over the impact the document dump could have on U.S. intelligence programs.
Politico Magazine reported last week that some of the files could contain highly sensitive information that some intelligence officials and agencies may not want released.
A White House official said last week that the documents would be released “unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise,” and that Trump wanted the documents released “in the interests of full transparency.”