Citing national security and foreign affairs interests, U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to further delay the public disclosure of documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy.
Trump said in White House statement Thursday the Archivist of the United States, the agency responsible for maintaining the records, agreed with the president’s proposal to withhold “certain information” due to “national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.”
The statement said the concerns are “of such gravity” that they outweigh “the public interest in immediate disclosure.”
The president said the records should not be withheld from the public no later than October 26, 2021, but left open the possibility of further delays “only in the rarest cases.”
The delay was announced the day Trump authorized the release of more than 19,000 other assassination records.
The U.S. government released more than 13,000 records related to Kennedy’s assassination in November 2017, the fourth release of the year.
Most of the collection of about five million pages has been publicly released, but some have been withheld over the years to protect individuals, intelligence sources and methods, and national security.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]Trump had ordered the release of all of the documents on October 27, 2017, one day after nearly 3,000 records were released, but he postponed that decision with Thursday’s announcement.
A law signed by President George H.W. Bush on Oct. 26, 1992 required all records related to the assassination be released within 25 years of that date.