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JFK Assassination Documents Set for Release

National Archives has until late October to release files unless blocked by the president

JFK assassination Document Release

Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 he became the fourth president to be killed in a nation that, at the time, was less than 200 years old.

A fresh batch of documents about the 1963 assassination of former President John F. Kennedy is scheduled to be released by the end of the month, possibly providing new insight into a case that has fascinated investigators and conspiracy theorists for decades.


About 3,600 documents from the investigation remain sealed at the National Archives, but the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 requires all investigative files to be unredacted and released within 25 years of the law's passing. That sets Oct. 26 as the deadline, although the law also allows the president to withhold any document that a government agency considers too sensitive for public view. 

CIA spokeswoman Nicole de Haay said her office "continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously unreleased CIA information," CNN reports.

Among the questions people hope the documents will answer is what the CIA knew about JFK’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Millions of government documents on the shooting have been released over the years, including a number gathered by the Warren Commission in the 1960s. Established by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the commission was charged with investigating the circumstances surrounding Kennedy's assassination. 

An official of the National Archives told Time magazine that many of the documents may be of little value because, she believes, any potentially revelatory information has already been unredacted and released.

The White House has not announced whether President Donald Trump will block the release of any documents.

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