FACT CHECK: Was Joe Biden Involved In A Plot To Kidnap JFK Jr?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A viral Facebook post claims that former Vice President Joe Biden was involved in a plot to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of former President John F. Kennedy.

Verdict: False

While FBI records released in 2000 detail at least three kidnapping threats against John F. Kennedy Jr., there is no evidence Biden was involved in these plots or any others.

Fact Check

The viral post cites “declassified FBI files” as its source for the claim that Biden was involved in a plot to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. at some point.

The Associated Press obtained 162 records from the FBI through a Freedom of Information Act request in 2000. Those records, which appear to be referenced in the Facebook post, show that John F. Kennedy Jr. was the target of at least three kidnapping threats during his lifetime.

One threat occurred in 1972, when he was in elementary school. The others occurred in 1985, two years after he graduated from Brown University, and in 1995, four years before he died in a plane crash at the age of 38, according to the FBI records.

Many of the details surrounding the kidnapping plots are redacted, but none appear to indicate Biden had involvement in any of them. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Leak The Identities Of SEAL Team 6?)

Biden is mentioned in the FBI records as a “victim,” according to the Los Angeles Times. In August 1994, the then-senator received a threatening letter from Worcester, Massachusetts, that began, “Dear Sen. Biden, You are a traitor.” It was signed, “John F. Kennedy Jr.”

The FBI analyzed the handwriting and pulled fingerprints from the letter, but eventually closed the case without identifying any suspects, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jim Ellis, a former FBI agent and certified fraud examiner, told In Touch that he does not believe John F. Kennedy Jr. sent the letter to Biden.

“The FBI investigates these [types] of things all the time and 99 percent are from cranks,” he told In Touch. “If somebody really means to do harm to a senator or congressman, they typically don’t telegraph their intentions.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation didn’t find any credible reports online that Biden was ever involved in a plot to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. either.

Biden’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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