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Lawyer Sues National Archives About Continued Withholding of JFK Records


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JFK Assassination Records: Lawyer Sues National Archives, Working on a Complaint Against Biden

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A lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the National Archives in an attempt to obtain the underlying correspondence and memos relating to the decisions of Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden to postpone the release of the JFK records, six decades after the event.

The move comes after Biden released a memorandum in October 2021 authorizing another withholding of the records.

The one spearheading this attempt to gain information about the national security threats that these records allegedly pose is attorney Larry Schnapf, who has been interested in the assassination since he was a child.

Schnapf told The Epoch Times that in February, the government singled out 5,700 pages relevant to his request and will be sending them to him in 250-page batches.

He received part of the first tranche last week. Some of it is redacted, something that he plans to challenge legally.

“The files released in the first tranche pertain to President Trump’s October 2017 decision to postpone disclosure of the assassinations records for six months. These documents show that the National Archives disagreed with postponement requests of the CIA and FBI and how the rationale for the temporary six-month postponement was orchestrated,”  Schnapf said.

“I believe the next batch of records will pertain to President Trump’s April 2018 decision to postpone disclosure until October 2021.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of Democrat President John F. Kennedy, is in favor of the efforts by Schnapf and his team.

“I support that suit,” Kennedy Jr. told The Epoch Times, “It’s a 60-year-old crime. There’s no excuse for not complying with the law and releasing the records.”

“In addition to this lawsuit, I submitted the attached letter to the Archivist on behalf of a team of lawyers I have assembled requesting that the Archives follow-up on a number of search requests tendered to the CIA and FBI by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) in 1998 and that remain outstanding,” Schnapf said. “If I don’t receive an adequate response from the Archives on this request, I will file a second lawsuit. My team of lawyers is also working on a complaint against President Biden for failing to comply with the terms of the JFK Records Act. We will be seeking a writ of mandamus requiring the President to release the records.”

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President John F. Kennedy in an undated photograph courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (JFK Presidential Library and Museum/Handout/File Photo via Reuters)

The 1992 JFK Records Act, signed by Congress into law, mandated that all the documents be released by Oct. 26, 2017.

However, one person had the power to stop it—the incumbent president.

When the time for total declassification finally came, President Donald Trump put a six-month delay on the final declassification. Then he put a three-year delay on it.

“Some of the material shows the national archives strongly disagreed with the proposed withholdings made by CIA and FBI, saying the requests did not comply with the JFK Records Act. It was previously unclear what role the Archives played or if they were basically just a passive records custodian. The ARRB Final Report recommended that NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] or some future government body be given the same powers of the ARRB to overrule agency objections and the latest exchange shows how the current structure does not work. Both presidents seem to cave into claims of national security no matter how unreasonable,” Schnapf continued.

“This first batch covered the time period before Trump issued his first postponement in October 2017. I’ve only received 58 unredacted pages so far while waiting for another 179 pages of this first batch being reviewed by other agencies.”

“This first batch also seems to suggest that the executive branch orchestrated the October 2017 postponement so that it was being requested by NARA,” Schnapf stated.

In December 2021, the Biden administration released a batch of classified documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The National Archives and Records Administration published the new 1,491 documents, of which 958 are from the CIA.

By the time President Joe Biden took office, about 15,000 documents were either being withheld or redacted in part.

“It’s very little and very late,” Kennedy Jr. said

“There’s only 10 percent of the documents that legally have to be released in that data dump. But even those documents are clearly showing that the CIA lied outright to the Warren Commission about its relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald,” he added.

Schnapf and his team are determined to try their best to shed light on the classified information and pursue various means, not limited to Freedom of Information Act requests.

“We have an aggressive group of lawyers. We’re going to be pressing the law. We’re going to try to use the law. In the past when there was litigation, it was often focused on the Freedom of Information Act. We’re trying all different things. We’re going to pursue this and pursue that.”

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Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter focusing on the NYC area.

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The document dump is becoming interesting. NARA tried to push back but it does not have the power that the ARRB had to overrule CIA or FBI objections. The ARRB final report recommended that another body be created with that authority.  Hence the need for oversight hearings..... 

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19 hours ago, Lawrence Schnapf said:

Well done Larry, this is really important.  History needs to see the full unvarnished truth, without any skeletons being left in the closet.

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