Many researchers, historians, and even conspiracy theorists weren’t pleased with the fact that the government is redacting around 300 of the 3,100 sealed records related to the President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. But they aren’t the only ones.
President Trump is also reportedly “unhappy with the level of redactions,” according to at least one White House official.
While the president wanted to release all the documents, he was faced with a choice between releasing all 3,100 records or agreeing with law enforcement and intelligence agencies that wanted to release only 2,800 and keep 300 of the documents under wraps until they could be reviewed further.
Because of time constraints related to the impending 25-year deadline, Trump reluctantly chose door number two. Agencies will still be required to “conduct a secondary review of the information they believed should be redacted within 180 days,” according to CNN.
Trump, however, still believes agencies insisting on secrecy still aren’t “meeting with the spirit of the law,” and expressed as much through his press secretary on Thursday.
The president “has demanded unprecedented transparency from the agencies and directed them to minimize redactions without delay,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement.
A senior U.S. official told CNN described the entire process leading up to the deadline as “messy,” with the White House dealing with the various agencies involved up to the final hour.
All of which left the president with little time to decide.
Officials said Trump did agree that still-living confidential informants should be protected, but also feels that as much information as possible should be released to the public.
Agencies will have up to five months for a secondary review of the still-redacted documents. If they still believe any should remains secret, they’ll have to make a case to the U.S. Archivist. Then, Trump will have about a month to review those requests and “will order the public disclosure of any information that the agencies cannot demonstrate meets the statutory standard for continued postponement of disclosure” by April 26, 2018, according to a Thursday memorandum.
“Any agency that seeks to request further postponement beyond this temporary certification shall adhere to the findings of the act, which state, among other things, that ‘only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records,'” wrote Trump. “Accordingly, each agency head should be extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement of full disclosure of records.”
President Trump reiterated his thoughts in a Friday morning tweet.
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