Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Missing Church Committee Testimony

From: Steven D. Tilly
JFK Liaison
Textual Reference Division

April 17, 1995

Charles Battaglia
Staff Director
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
211 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Battaglia:

It has come to my attention that certain transcripts of testimony given before the Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect To Intelligence Activities may not be among the records transferred to the National Archives for inclusion in the JFK Collection. I discussed this matter with Ms. Judy Hodgson on April 13, and she suggested that I inform you in writing about this matter.

Early last week, I received a phone call from a researcher who has spent considerable time reviewing the Church Committee records. The researcher informed me that he had been reviewing again Book V of the Committee’s final report which is entitled “The Investigation Of The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Performance of Intelligence Agencies.” The researcher directed me to page 42 of the report where testimony by the “FBI supervisor,” dated April 8, 1976, was referenced in footnote 113. The researcher stated that he did not remember seeing this transcript during his research and asked if I could locate it.

Due to the intense interest in the Church Committee records, I had a member of my staff create a folder title list for the records so we would have a finding aid for the records. A finding aid was needed since we have not received the data disk for these records. I instructed the individual making the list to be as precise as possible in describing each folder and to specifically list each transcript of testimony by name of witness and date. I am enclosing a copy of this list for your information.

In response to the researcher’s inquiry, I learned that the testimony of the “FBI supervisor” was not among the records in our custody. I began to read other footnotes in the report and realized that other transcripts of testimony were referenced that I had not seen on our list. I decided to review every footnote in the report and compiled of (sic a) list of transcripts of testimony, summaries of interviews, and affidavits described in the footnotes that are not among our holdings. I have also enclosed a copy of this list for your use. I call your attention to the fact that most of these transcripts are dated in 1976. A review of our folder title list shows that most of the transcripts in the records in our custody are dated in 1975. It goes without saying that the individuals who gave this testimony, whether identified by name or title, are very significant persons in the history of the assassination.

While compiling this list, I remembered other testimony that was supposedly taken from the Church Committee but not among these records. One researcher has informed me that John Rosselli testified before the Committee on June 24, 1975, and April 23, 1976. The only transcripts we have for Rosselli are September 22, and September 23, 1975. Another researcher has informed me that Evelyn Lincoln, President Kennedy’s secretary, testified or was interviewed by the Committee staff. We have been unable to locate any documents relating to this issue.

I am also enclosing a copy of a document created by the Committee staff, apparently around the middle of August 1975, entitled “Assassination Testimony File.” This document was located by the individual who compiled the folder title list. I have compared this document with the folder title list and highlighted in yellow the transcripts that we located while compiling the folder title list. While this document only lists testimony taken early in the Committee’s history, there still appears to be significant documents from 1975 that are also not in our holdings. I realize that some of these individuals may have testified about other events under investigation by the Committee. However, some of the documents listed are clearly assassination related, such as Rosselli’s testimony of June 24, 1975, and Richard Helm’s testimony of June 13, 1975.

Ms. Hodgson informed me that the records of the Church Committee are stored in the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, D.C. If you decide to search the Committee’s records again for these documents, I would be pleased to assist your staff in conducting that search if that would facilitate this matter. I will also be pleased to arrange assistance from the staff of our Center for Legislative Archives if you wish.

Please contact me on (301) 713-6620 if you wish to discuss this matter. As I informed Ms. Hodgson, I have informed the Assassinations Records Review Board about this issue.


JFK Liaisoin
Textual Reference Division


Cc: Dr. David Marwell
Executive Director
Assassinations Records Review Board.

(Includes some interviews and summaries)

1. FBI Supervisor, 4/8/76 (Footnote 113, page 42)
2. Chief, SAS/CI, 5/10/76 (Footnote 32, page 17)
3. Western Hemisphere Division Desk Officer, 5/7/76 (Footnote 12, page 25)
4. Thomas Karamessines, 4/18/76 (Footnote 13, page 25)
5. Amlash Case Officer, 2/11/76 (Footnote 31, page 17)
6. Executive Officer, 4/22/76 (Footnote 32, page 17)
7. Section Chief, 5/11/76 (Footnote 7, page 11)
8. Chief JMWAVE, 5/6/76 and/or 5/16/76 (Footnote) 8, page 11, and footnote 19, page 14)
9. Intelligence Officer, 5/10/76 (Footnote 13, page 13)
10. Richard Helms, 6/13/75 (Footnote 33, page 18)
11. CIA Liaison Officer, 5/7/76 (Footnote 52, page 30)
12. Staff Interview of CIA Analyst, 3/15/76 (Footnote 62, page 31)
13. Staff Interview of William C. Sullivan, 4/21/76 (Footnote 70, page 34)
14. Alex Rosen, 4/30/76 (Footnote 76, page 35)
15. FBI Supervisor I, 4/27/76 (Footnote 78, page 35)
16. FBI Supervisor II, 2/27/76 (Footnote 78, page 35)
17. FBI Supervisor III, 4/29/76 (Footnote 78, page 35)
18. General Investigative Division Supervisor, 3/31/76 (Footnote 80, page 36 and footnote 27, page 81)
19. Soviet Section Supervisor, 4/23/76 (Footnote 86, page 36)
20. Former Section Chief, 5/11/76 (Footnote 89, page 37) This may be the same person as item #7.
21. Supervisor, 5/5/76 (Footnote 90, page 37)
22. Mexico City Legat, 2/4/76 (Footnote 100, page 40)
23. FBI Special Agent, 12/5/76 (Footnote 34, page 52)
24. SAC, 12/20/76 (Footnote 36, page 52)
25. Staff Interview of FBI Inspector, 3/20/76 (Footnote 54, page 56)
26. Staff Discussion with Ambassador John Sherman Cooper, 5/24/76 (Footnote 120, page 67)
27. James Angleton, 2/6/76 (Footnote 134, page 69)
28. James J. Rowley, 2/13/76 (Footnote 21, page 80)
29. FBI Agent I, 5/3/76 (Footnote 44, page 83)
30. FBI Agent II, 4/13/76 (Footnote 44, page 83)
31. Washington Lawyer, 3/17/76 (Footnote 45, page 83)
32. Supervisor, 3/31/76 (Footnote 53, page 85) This may be the same person as item #18.
33. Client No. 1, 4/23/76 (Footnote 55, page 85)
34. Client No. 2, 4/28/76 (Footnote 55, page 85)
35. James Hosty, 12/12/75 (Footnote 6, page 87)
36. Staff summary with former FBI Headquarters Supervisor, 1/16/76 (Footnote 15, page 89)
37. FBI Headquarters Supervisor, 3/15/76 (Footnote 15, page 89) This may be the same individual as item #36.
38. James Hosty, 12/13/75 (Footnote 17, page 89)
39. INS Inspector, 12/19/75 (Footnote 1, page 95)
40. J. Gordon Shanklin, 12/19/75 (Footnote 1, page 95)
41. Affidavits of various FBI personnel, pages 96-97

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