Local News

'Let us know the truth': NC congressman urges Trump to allow release of JFK records

Posted October 24, 2017 10:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 24, 2017 10:16 p.m. EDT

— Some of the nation's longest-held secrets about an American tragedy are set to become public Thursday, and one North Carolina congressman has a connection to the documents.

There is fascination with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but what the documents represent is an opportunity to go from curiosity and speculation to having hard facts about what happened on Nov. 22, 1963. North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones was instrumental in legislation that could make that happen.

“I was a freshman in college when President Kennedy was assassinated,” Jones said.

Five decades later, Jones wants to know more.

“I’ve always had in my mind that I wanted the people of this country, since I’ve been in Congress, to know the truth about the assassination of John Kennedy,” he said. “I want the truth to come out. I want the American people who would like to know the truth to have access to that information.”

Jones, along with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, introduced legislation urging President Donald Trump to comply with a measure passed in 1992, which required the National Archives to release remaining files regarding the incident within the next 25 years.

The deadline is Thursday, Oct. 26.

“We need to know the truth about how this assassination took place. Was it one shooter or more than one shooter? How did Lee Harvey Oswald move around from Mexico to Russia? How did all these things take place,” Jones questioned.

Trump on Saturday tweeted that the documents, which include more than 3,000 files never seen by the public and another 3,000 that were previously released with redacted information, would be released to the public.

Trump has the power to block the release of the documents on the grounds that making them public would harm intelligence or military operations, law enforcement or foreign relations.

Jones said no matter what comes from the documents, it would be far too late to warrant any kind of investigation, especially considering that many of the people who worked in the government at the time of the assassination have since died.

“If an agency was complicit in planning the assassination of Kennedy, so be it. Let us know the truth about it,” he said. “We lost the leadership of a young man that could’ve made a difference in where we are today.”

Jones has said that he believes that there were other individuals involved and that it is possible agencies were complicit in the assassination.