FILE: President John F. Kennedy arrives in Dallas

Posted at 6:36 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 18:36:14-04

(RNN) – The U.S. government late Thursday said about 2,800 JFK assassination records will be made public for the first time, but President Donald Trump delayed the release of other files pending review. 

The files are being released in accordance with a 1992 law. Trump will request that intelligence agencies report to him in 180 days their justification for the rest of the JFK files to remain secret.   

About three decades after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, Congress passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

The Act created the Collection where all federal agencies deposited assassination-related records, the National Archives said.

The Act added that all records so far unreleased in part or full would be made public on Oct. 26, 2017, unless withheld by the president. The withholding could take place if the release would cause ”identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or conduct of foreign relations” and if the “identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

President Donald Trump tweeted on Oct. 21 that unless he receives further information, the release of records would take place on Oct. 26. However, The Washington Post reports the CIA and other government agencies are urging the president to keep the documents secret. Intelligence agencies are concerned their information gathering methods and identities of some sources - some of who may be alive - will be compromised.



The Act was signed by President George H.W. Bush.

Trump tweeted again on Oct. 25 that the release for the next day was still a go.

The overall Collection is made up of 5 million pages of records, with about 88 percent fully available for viewing. About 11 percent have been released in part, or with redactions, leaving 1 percent completely withheld from public view.  The Collection includes photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts. 

The tragic shooting of Kennedy, 46,  in Dallas has fueled speculation for years. 

Alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by strip club and dancehall owner Jack Ruby on Nov. 24, 1963, when he was being led out of Dallas police headquarters.

Oswald also was accused of shooting Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit about an hour after the Kennedy shooting. Oswald shot the officer on the streets of Dallas when the policeman stopped and questioned him, officials said.

Ruby died in 1967 while awaiting a new trial after a guilty verdict was overturned in 1966 by a Texas appeals court.  

The Warren Commission found Oswald acted alone in killing the president in its report released on Sept. 24, 1964.  

A U.S. House Select Committee on the assassination of Kennedy found in 1979  that “on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”

The documents also could shed light on Cold War intrigue taking place in the early 1960s. 

CNN says that researchers are looking forward to the release to gain information about related topics, such as U.S. relations with Fidel Castro’s Cuba, South Vietnam, and an Oswald visit to Mexico.      

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