Sen. Chuck Grassley called it “ridiculous” that files relating to the 1963 assassination of former President John F. Kennedy were not fully released by Thursday’s congressional deadline, expressing frustration that even after more than 50 years, intelligence agencies were still seeking more time for review.
“Thx for kennedy files release Ridiculous that CIA wants to review to redact,” the Iowa Republican tweeted Friday. “YeGods u had fifty yrs NOW CIA WANTS FURTHER COVERUP/POTUS STOP.”
Grassley later quipped on Twitter that now that the latest batch of documents was made accessible, educational programming would be able to report on “real history.”
“Now w Kennedy FileS being released the HISTORY CHANNEL has opportunity for real history instead of BEING NONHISTORY CHANNEL,” he said.
President Donald Trump on Thursday delayed the release of some documents still unreleased by the National Archives pertaining to the Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. The White House announced that while some 2,800 pages would be released by Thursday’s deadline, set by a decades-old law, others would continue to be reviewed and made public on a “rolling basis.”
Trump cited security concerns over the sensitivity of the information in withholding the remaining documents, which were due to be released in accordance with a law signed by former President George H.W. Bush on Oct. 26, 1992. “I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our Nation’s security,” the president wrote in a memo.
On Friday, the president tweeted that the “JFK Files are being carefully released. In the end, there will be great transparency. It is my hope to get just about everything to public!”
A White House official told POLITICO Trump was holding back the full release largely at the behest of the FBI and the CIA.
The CIA said Thursday they “welcome” the president’s decision to allow agencies to continue reviewing documents.
“CIA’s current redactions were undertaken with the intent to protect information in the collection whose disclosure would harm national security — including the names of CIA assets and current and former CIA officers, as well as specific intelligence methods and partnerships that remain viable to protecting the nation today,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.
The Iowa senator’s comments on Friday served as one of his more forceful calls for the release of the Kennedy files. Grassley earlier this month vouched for a Senate resolution that called for the federal government to release all the remaining documents relating to Kennedy’s death.
“Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963,” Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “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.”
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