Conspiracy theorists don’t have to hang up their tin foil hats just yet.
President Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to announce his administration would move forward with releasing classified documents regarding the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. His social media post comes on the heels of reports that he intended to block the release of the files — legally required to be made public in less than a week, barring any threats to national security.
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted.
Government officials Friday told Politico Magazine they were worried about publishing the classified documents —some of them created as recently as the 1990s— because they could expose relatively recent American intelligence and law enforcement operations.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told the magazine because some of the records within the thousands of pages of information were not created until decades later, they needed to be reviewed to guarantee there would be no “identifiable harm” to national security if they were to be made public.
The JFK Assassination Records Collection act, passed by congress in 1992 following the uproar after Oliver Stone’s “JFK,” allowed millions of pages of documents to be made public in the 90s. Still a small portion—about 3,100 files later created within the CIA, FBI and Justice Department — have been held back until now.
Lawmakers argued at the time that mandating the release of records within a 25-year timeframe would ensure transparency and address the countless conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s death.
JFK was shot in the head while riding an open-top car through Dallas by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963. His death has long been fodder for theorists who suspect more than one shooter was involved and that the U.S. government covered it up.
Historians and scholars suspect the trove of files could provide insight into Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in the weeks ahead of the assassination, CBS News reported. According to the Warren Commission, an investigative body established by Lyndon B. Johnson, Oswald visited Soviet and Cuban embassies during the trip, though little else is known regarding the matter.
The National Archives said once it received approval from the White House the final cache of documents would be posted on its website over the course of just one day, by Thursday at the latest.
Experts warned the massive document dump, originally set to be published in parts, could prove to be a logistical nightmare, Politico reported. The online library will not only be flooded with scores of new documents, but hundreds of thousands of eager viewers who initially may not even understand what is they’re looking at. It’s for that reason, experts said, the files could fuel even more theories of conspiracy, instead of providing the promised transparency.