top of page

Warren Commission Begins Work

Dec. 5, 1963 - The commission investigating President Kennedy’s assassination began work today with a long meeting in Washington. It decided to ask Congress for subpoena power. Little opposition was expected, and early passage of the necessary bill was almost certain. The request for subpoena power opens the possibility that the commission will hold public hearings and otherwise make its own detailed search for the facts. The alternative would be to appraise material gathered by others, especially the FBI. Chief Justice Earl Warren, the chairman of the commission, said after today’s meeting that the commission had no official information yet. “We are deliberating somewhat in the dark,” he said, “because we have no report as yet from any agency of the Government. The information we have now is little more than what we have learned through the news media.” Today’s meeting was held in a hearing room of the National Archives Building. The Chief Justice sat at one end of a long table with the six other members on either side. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach attended part of the session. He has been in charge of the Justice Department’s handling of the aftermath of the tragedy. Mr. Katzenbach was not yet able to transmit to the commission the Department’s report on the assassination and the subsequent murder of the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The FBI turned over the report to Mr. Katzenbach this evening. Justice officials still have much work to do on it before it is sent to President Johnson and, presumably, the commission. Part or all of the report may be made public when it is completed. Meanwhile, a reconstruction of the assassination was still being carried out in Dallas today by Federal officials.


bottom of page