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JFK Files: What Will Released Documents Reveal About Kennedy Assassination?

BOSTON (CBS News/AP)-- For decades, the existence of secret government files linked to President John F. Kennedy's assassination has helped fuel conspiracy theories that others besides Lee Harvey Oswald were involved in his murder. Now the public is going to get a deeper look at the collection.

John and Jackie Kennedy with John Connally in Automobile
Texas Gov. John Connally adjusts his tie (foreground) as President and Mrs. Kennedy prepare for the ride into Dallas from the airport, Nov. 22, 1963. After a few speaking stops, the President was assassinated in the same car. (Bettmann Archive via Getty Images)

The government is required by Thursday to release the final batch of files related to Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963. Experts say the publication of the last trove of evidence could help allay suspicions of a conspiracy -- at least for some.

"As long as the government is withholding documents like these, it's going to fuel suspicion that there is a smoking gun out there about the Kennedy assassination," said Patrick Maney, a presidential historian at Boston College.

Here's a look at what to expect from the files:

JFK assassination
President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy ride with secret agents in an open car motorcade shortly before the president was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

How many files are there and how can I see them?

The collection includes more than 3,100 documents -- comprising hundreds of thousands of pages -- that have never been seen by the public. About 30,000 documents were released previously with redactions. The National Archives is planning to post the files on its website.

Will all of them be released?

It's unclear exactly how many files will be released. President Trump is the only person who can stop any of the documents from becoming public. Mr. Trump pledged in a tweet on Saturday that -- "subject to the receipt of further information" -- he will allow the "long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened."

The CIA and FBI, whose files make up the bulk of the final batch, have refused to say whether they're lobbying the president to keep any of the files under wraps. Experts expect certain IRS files to remain secret, like the tax return of Jack Ruby, the man who killed Oswald two days after Kennedy's assassination when the suspect was in police custody.

"She expressed no remorse about the president being killed," Schieffer recalled.

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