President Donald Trump is temporarily holding back some of the documents in the John F. Kennedy National Archives document release due to national security issues, with most of those requested continued redactions coming from the FBI and CIA.
Legislation required the release of the documents Oct. 26, with potential carve-outs for intelligence, law enforcement, military and other sensitive information, some of which was carved out.
But he is giving the agencies that sought the withholding until April 26, 2018 to defend why it should continue to be withheld.
The White House said it had no choice but to withhold some of the documents or risk irreparable damage to national security.
The President had said earlier in the week that the documents would be released, with the caveat that there could still be some redactions.
The White House said 2,800 (2,891 to be exact) records are being released Thursday (Oct. 26), with rolling releases subsequently. The vast majority of the requests came from the FBI and CIA.
CNN’s Jim Acosta asked whether the contents of the files showed any conspiracy or whether Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had any role, but did not get an answer.
Asked why some documents were not being released, a White House official said there remained sensitive information, including identity of individuals and their role as informants, as well as activities that involved other countries.
The President was briefed by the agencies on the information and agreed to withhold it, but also sought the review of that information to better refine redactions and get out as much of the information as possible, they said.
The information will be released on archive.gov.
Actually, the release of the CIA and FBI documents has been scheduled for a quarter of a century by law (the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act), but according to reports, some in the intelligence community had suggested keeping at least some of the documents under wraps for national security purposes, which has happened, at least for now.
Most of the assassination documents (88%) have already been released, according to a JFK-related Web site that has been counting down the days to what was to have been the final release, but didn't turn out that way.
Those looking for some closure for conspiracy theorists will have a wait a little longer.