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Warren Commission Report: Page xi« Previous | Next »

(Foreword)

resolution authorized the Commission to compel testimony from witnesses claiming the privilege against self-incrimination under the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution by providing for the grant of immunity to persons testifying under such compulsion. Immunity under these provisions was not granted to any witness during the Commission's investigation.


The Commission took steps immediately to obtain the necessary staff to fulfill its assignment. J. Lee Rankin, former Solicitor General of the United States, was sworn in as general counsel for the Commission on December 16, 1963. Additional members of the legal staff were selected during the next few weeks. The Commission has been aided by 14 assistant counsel with high professional qualifications, selected by it from widely separated parts of the United States. This staff undertook the work of the Commission with a wealth of legal and investigative experience and a total dedication to the determination of the truth. The Commission has been assisted also by highly qualified personnel from several Federal agencies, assigned to the Commission at its request. This group included lawyers from the Department of Justice, agents of the Internal Revenue Service, a senior historian from the Department of Defense, an editor from the Department of State, and secretarial and administrative staff supplied by the General Services Administration and other agencies.


In addition to the assistance afforded by Federal agencies, the Commission throughout its inquiry had the cooperation of representatives of the city of Dallas and the State of Texas. The attorney general of Texas, Waggoner Carr, aided by two distinguished lawyers of that State, Robert G. Storey of Dallas, retired dean of the Southern Methodist University Law School and former president of the American Bar Association, and Leon Jaworski of Houston, former president of the Texas State Bar Association, has been fully informed at all times as to the progress of the investigation, and has advanced such suggestions as he and his special assistants considered helpful to the accomplishment of the Commission's assignment. Attorney General Carr has promptly supplied the Commission with pertinent information possessed by Texas officials. Dallas officials, particularly those from the police department, have fully complied with all requests made by the Commission.

The Investigation

During December and early January the Commission received an increasing volume of reports from Federal and State investigative agencies. Of principal importance was the five-volume report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitted on December 9, 1963, which summarized the results of the investigation conducted by the Bureau immediately after the assassination. After reviewing this report, the Commission requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation to furnish the underlying investigative materials relied upon in the
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