Dec 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

The secret JFK assassination files are finally here

President John F Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife Nellie Connally ride together in a convertible limousine.

President John F. Kennedy in a convertible limousine in Dallas. Photo: Getty Images

The National Archives on Thursday released thousands of secret documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Driving the news: In a memo, President Biden authorized more than 70% of the roughly 16,000 remaining files on JFK's death to "now be released in full." The decision came after a "comprehensive effort to review" the files over the last year, Biden stated.

  • Biden said all documents on JFK's assassination should be shared with the public "except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise."
  • "The profound national tragedy of President Kennedy's assassination continues to resonate in American history and in the memories of so many Americans who were alive on that terrible day," the memo stated.

What they're saying: "President Biden believes all information related to President Kennedy's assassination should be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with again, national security," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.

  • She said Biden has called for the release of all redacted information when "the basis for the continued restriction of that information no longer outweighs the public interest."

Catch up quick: Last year, Biden postponed the release of the trove of documents, citing the pandemic.

  • At the time, Biden asked the National Archives to conduct a one-year review of the documents before they were released. That one-year deadline expired Thursday.
  • In October, the Mary Ferrell Foundation sued the Biden administration to force the records' release.

Worth noting: More than 70% of voters wanted Biden to release the secret records of Kennedy's assassination, according to a poll — done by the Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi, a JFK assassination expert.

More from Axios:

Remembering JFK's assassination 54 years later

Biden, National Archives sued over unreleased JFK assassination records

Go deeper