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Biden releases 13,000+ unredacted JFK assassination files

Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. (Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News, Public Domain)
December 15, 2022

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced the fully unredacted release of about 70 percent of the government files pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The release comes after the Biden administration was sued for delaying their release earlier this fall.

In a White House press release, Biden said his administration had been reviewing the full set of almost 16,000 files related to the JFK assassination, which had previously been released in a partially redacted format. In the latest action, Biden said his administration had determined that more than 70 percent of the 16,000 files could now be released without redactions, finally giving the public figure out what had been blocked out of previous document releases.

The National Archives website for the 2022 JFK assassination document tranche includes 13,251 new files. With this latest unredacted release, the National Archives told CBS that the public can now view about 97 percent of the roughly 5 million pages in its collection related to the JFK assassination.

The government has been slowly releasing JFK assassination records to the public over the last 30 years as part of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. In passing the 1992 law, members of Congress declared that “all Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy . . . should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.”  The Congress also said “most of the records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are almost 30 years old, and only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records.” 

All of the JFK assassination documents were legally required to be revealed by October 2017, but then-President Donald Trump delayed the release of some of the documents until October 2021 for unspecified national security reasons,When Biden faced Trump’s deadline, he again delayed the release until Dec. 15, 2022, this time blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the continued delay.

In his memo announcing this latest document release, Biden said, “this significant disclosure reflects my Administration’s commitment to transparency and will provide the American public with greater insight and understanding of the Government’s investigation into this tragic event in American history.”

While the Biden administration is releasing full unredacted versions of about 70 percent of the JFK files, he said reviewing agencies “have identified a limited number of records containing information for continued postponement of public disclosure.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.