Pres. Trump has been under siege in recent weeks juggling the Mueller inquiry into potential Russian meddling in the US elections, the mounting legal problems of his personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, the Stormy Daniels affair, and the general maelstrom of personnel issues revolving around his White House and cabinet. Politically, it would serve Trump well to release all remaining sealed documents to the public.
The President could take a victory lap and claim that only under his administration has the government finally come clean about everything it knows regarding the JFK assassination. Despite the ongoing questions about his own transparency in his personal business dealings, he could raise the flag of transparent government over the JFK issue.
But Trump, could even go one step further. According to the Mary Ferrell Foundation, a research foundation, there are an additional 21,890 documents still being withheld in full or in part that are not part of this batch of documents that Trump is scheduled to potentially release on Thursday.
Judge Tunheim confirmed to me that there are in fact up to 30,000 additional JFK-related documents in the National Archives that his Commission received towards the end of his mandate and which were determined to not be directly relevant to the JFK assassination inquiry.
"These additional documents never went through the traditional declassification process, because they were not determined to be directly relevant to the JFK case at that time," said Judge Tunheim. "In a few cases of which I'm aware, new evidence or facts have come to light in recent years that would make some of these documents perhaps tangentially relevant to the JFK case. I think it would be a smart move for the President - in an effort for complete transparency - to call for all of these documents housed in the National Archives to be released to the public as well."
If Trump were to not only declassify the remaining documents that he promised to put into the public realm last fall, but also announce that he was going to unseal the tens of thousands of files still in the National Archives, it would be a news story there would receive widespread media attention - changing, albeit for perhaps only a few new cycles - the wall-to-wall coverage of the scandals brewing in the Trump White House.
If there's one thing that Pres. Trump is really good at, it's manipulating the media – and the intense public interest surrounding all things related to the assassination of Pres. Kennedy provides the perfect ingredients for our Entertainer-in-Chief to massage and control the next few new cycles, deflecting journalists' attention away with a shiny new object.
Commentary by Arick Wierson, a six-time Emmy Award-winning television executive and former deputy commissioner under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Currently, Wierson works as a political and branding consultant to clients in the United States, Africa and Latin America. He is currently advising candidates in U.S. House races in Southern California, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as several state gubernatorial candidates in Brazil. You can follow him on twitter @ArickWierson.
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