Documents newly released Friday show U.S. officials scrambling after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to round up information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City weeks earlier.
Officials wondered whether Oswald had been trying to get visas at the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City in order to “make a quick escape after assassinating the president.”
A CIA message sent Nov. 24, 1963 — two days after Kennedy was killed — says an “important question” that remained unsolved was whether Oswald had been planning to travel right away or return to the U.S. and leave later.
The message said that although it appeared Oswald “was then thinking only about a peaceful change of residence to the Soviet Union, it is also possible that he was getting documented to make a quick escape after assassinating the president.”
The National Archives on Friday released another 676 government documents related to the assassination — the third public release so far this year. Under law, all the documents were to be released last week.
President Donald Trump has ordered the release of all documents related to the assassination, and they are expected to be made public on a rolling basis during the next three to four weeks. He also directed agencies to take another look at redactions and withhold information only in the rarest of circumstances.
Most of the latest release comprises 553 records from the CIA that previously were withheld in their entirety. There also are records from the Justice and Defense departments, the House Select Committee on Assassinations and the National Archives.