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President Johnson Orders FBI To Examine Murder of Oswald

Nov. 24, 1963 - President Johnson directed the FBI tonight to look into “every aspect” of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. He spoke with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and ordered the redoubled investigation. The action came as official Washington was showing increasing concern about the entire handling of the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination. Officials were convinced that Oswald was the assassin. But their concern was over the public impression of the criminal proceedings. Tonight they were considering ways to bring out for the public the evidence pointing to Oswald. The feeling was that it would be tragic and divisive if there were any doubts in the country and the world about the events. Today’s shooting of Oswald on top of past events might create such doubt, it was believed. The Justice Department showed its concern by sending the head of its criminal division, Assistant Attorney General Herbert J. Miller Jr., to Dallas this afternoon. The decision was made by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Mr. Miller will talk with FBI men working on the case and with the U.S. Attorney in Dallas, Barefoot Sanders. He is also expected to confer with state and local prosecutors and police officials. What is generally not understood abroad — and perhaps not altogether appreciated in this country — is that the Justice Department has no control over local police or prosecutors. It can advise and confer, but that is all.


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