Thursday, May 20, 2021

Committees of Correspondence Re: JFK Act

During the American Revolution the Committee of Correspondence was credited with helping to spark the Revolution against British rule over the American colonies. After the publication of the Warren Report the first generation of critics began to correspond among themselves. Then following the release of Oliver Stone's JFK movie so many people wrote their representatives complaining about the sealed JFK assassination records that Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. 

Now we need another wave of letters directed not only to our representatives in Congress but to those who are on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to get them to hold open public hearings on the JFK Act. While Larry set two deadlines - Sunshine Week in March and April 26, both of them are now passed and the best we can hope for is that they will hold such hearings before October 26, when the President must decide whether to release or continue to with hold the records. 

Other letters that have been sent to other relevant committees and agencies of government and the president, will be published later this week. But Larry got the ball rolling, and while it is an advantage to be a constituent of a member of the Oversight Committee, you don't have to be, as their position on the Committee requires them to listen to all citizens. The address Larry includes is that of the Oversight Committee office in the Rayburn House Office Building that should be used. Keep the letters short - one page should be enough, and don't be insulting. 

Now it's your turn. 

Larry Schnapf’s letter to Maloney

VIA Email and Overnight Delivery

February 22, 2021

Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney

Chair-House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

2308 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington D.C. 20515

Dear Congresswomen Maloney

I am writing you as a long-term constituent and in your capacity as the chairwomen of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (“Committee”).

Pursuant to House Rule X, clauses 2, 3 and 4 (1) and consistent with House Resolution 556 which was referred to the Committee on October 4, 2017, I am requesting that the Committee conduct oversight hearings on the failure of the Executive Branch to comply with the requirements of the President John F. Kennedy Assassinations Records Collection Act of 1992 (“JFK Act”). I ask that the Committee hold these hearings during “Sunshine Week” or no later than April 26 – the date that the Archivist of the United States has set as the deadline for the security agencies to object to the release of the remaining JFK Records.

Specifically, I ask the Committee to:

- Conduct an oversight hearing before the April 26th deadline established by the Archivist for the agencies to request further postponement.

- Instruct any agency requesting further postponement to provide a Vaughn Index setting forth specific explanations on a document-by-document basis why the particular document needs to be withheld as required by Section 4 (3)(c) of the JFK Act.

- Require all agencies to provide and publish in the Federal Register explanations for each and every postponed document (or portion of document) and

- Investigate if certain records were properly categorized as “Not Believed Relevant” (NBR).

1.       House Rule X, clause 2(b) provides that the Committee shall review and study on a continuing basis…(C) any conditions or circumstances that may indicate the necessity or desirability of enacting new or additional legislation addressing subjects within its jurisdiction. ….

Very Truly Yours

Lawrence Schnapf



Just wanted to give you update. The letter was delivered to Maloney’s office last week as well as by email.

I was advised that it would be more effective to deliver the letter to committee counsel. It took some effort but I cobbled together a list of counsel from Linked-in since the annual publication listing congressional staff has not yet been published. I emailed the letter to several committee counsel earlier today will follow-up at end of week.

I am now in process of drafting letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and will send next week to Grassley and Leahey (co-sponsors of the 2017 Senate resolution along with appropriate committee counsel).

A Canadian lawyer contacted me about filing writ of mandamus. I have to look into this. It might be an option if there is no action. Also evaluating if there is a way to compell the PIDB to review the release the records under the theory that the Obama executive order and the 2016 FOIA Improvement Act  may have implicitly overrode the more restrictive provisions of the JFK Records Act…  - Larry Schnapf 

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