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Release JFK Assassination Files, Senators Urge Trump

Image: Release JFK Assassination Files, Senators Urge Trump

Left: U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) arrives for a vote at the Capitol on Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) Right: Senate Judicary Committee ranking member Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) listens to witnesses during a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 8, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 05 Oct 2017 08:25 AM

Calls for the release of remaining JFK assassination files were renewed again with a resolution to President Donald Trump by Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy.

A statutory deadline for the release of the documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration comes on Oct. 26, the 25th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, the publication Roll Call reported.

The resolution is being pushed by current Senate Judiciary chair Grassley and former chair Leahy, in a rare show of bipartisanship, noted Roll Call.

"Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it's also essential to understanding our nation's history," Grassley wrote in a statement on Leahy's website Wednesday. "The assassination of President Kennedy occurred at a pivotal time for our nation, and nearly 54 years later, we are still learning the details of how our government responded and what it may have known beforehand.

"Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shining a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history," he continued.

The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, signed in 1992, mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and Records Administration, according to its website. Most of the more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts are open for research, the records administration states.

An estimated 3,600 files have remained sealed, most coming from the CIA and FBI and could help resolve long lingering questions about whether those agencies missed evidence of a larger conspiracy in Kennedy's death, Politico wrote in April.

The 1992 law allows Trump to keep the document sealed beyond the deadline if he finds that the secrecy was "necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or conduct of foreign relations" and that "the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure," Politico reported.

"Americans have the right to know what our government knows," Leahy said in his statement. "Transparency is crucial for our country to fully reckon with this national tragedy, and that is the purpose of these resolutions. Chairman Grassley and I both believe that a government of, by, and for the people simply cannot be one that needlessly hides information from them, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to make our democracy ever more transparent to the American people."

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Calls for the release of remaining JFK assassination files were renewed again with a resolution to President Donald Trump by Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy.
release, jfk, assassination, files, trump
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2017-25-05
Thursday, 05 Oct 2017 08:25 AM
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