Politics

Lawmakers Push Trump to Release JFK Assassination Files

Bipartisan group introduce resolutions ahead of October deadline

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Patrick J. Leahy want files on the Kennedy assassination released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior lawmakers are calling on President Donald Trump to allow the release of remaining government records on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Resolutions introduced in the House and Senate would call on the president to allow release of documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration, and for the Archives to work to meet a statutory deadline that arrives later in October.

The deadline occurs because it will be the 25th anniversary of the signing of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.

The leaders of the Senate resolution are Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, who is a former chairman of the committee.

“The assassination of President Kennedy was one of the most shocking and tragic events in our nation’s history,” Leahy said in a statement. “Americans have the right to know what our government knows. Transparency is crucial for our country to fully reckon with this national tragedy, and that is the purpose of these resolutions.”

Grassley expressed a similar sentiment in his statement.

“Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it’s also essential to understanding our nation’s history. 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,” Grassley said.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones and New York Democratic Rep. Louise M. Slaughter are leading the House versions of the resolutions.

The Kennedy assassination and related conspiracy theories made an unexpected appearance in the chaos of the 2016 presidential race.

Trump made a bizarre accusation highlighting the National Enquirer’s publication of a photo the tabloid purported to be of the father of campaign rival and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz with Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

“To me, the tragedy that took place in Dallas continues to raise many questions that go unanswered,” Jones said in a statement. “After 54 years, there is no reason, for the sake of honesty and integrity in America, that the facts of the JFK assassination should not be made public. Virgil once said, ‘Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.’ It’s time to reveal what happened that awful afternoon in 1963.”

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