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Frank Church Committee


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While reporting on CIA assassination plots abroad, both the Church Committee and the separate inquiry chaired by Nelson Rockefeller, had declined to look at the King and Kennedy assassinations of the previous decade. But two members of the Church committee. Republican Richard Schweiker and Democrat Gary Hart were allowed to create a subcommittee to investigate not Who killed Kennedy? but the performance of the intelligence agencies in relation to the Kennedy assassination. They hired one researcher, Gaeton Fonzi, a journalist who had been interested in the case since the 1960s. Fonzi became the first person employed by the US federal government to investigate the Kennedy assassination under the assumption there was a conspiracy. But the subcommittee had limited time and limited budget and just when Fonzi found an apparently important lead, the sub-committee was wound up. The chair of the main committee, Frank Church, 'was chomping at the bit, anxious to get into the Presidential sweepstakes,' and wanted his committee's report published. The Hart/Schweiker subcommittee was forced to issue a report with what it had.

Extract from Who Shot JFK (2002)

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