According to Washington Post investigative reporter Spencer Hsu, an anonymous source in the Justice Department who "was not authorized to discuss the issue" "said the initial decision that pretrial evidence discovery rules were beyond the commission’s scope was made by Yates's predecessor, James Cole, before his departure Jan. 8." The short article does not explain why the Department did not convey Deputy AG Cole's decision to the judge or (it seems) anyone else on the Commission's Subcommittee on Reporting and Testimony until the eve of the Commission's fifth meeting.
The new decision led Judge Rakoff to rejoin the Commission and to continue as co-chair of the reporting and testimony subcommittee. With the discovery issue within its recognized purview, the subcommittee is free to submit a proposal for the full Commission to consider. In the end, the strongest proposal the Commission can make is a recommendation to the Attorney General.
- Spencer S. Hsu, Judge Rakoff Returns to Forensic Panel after Justice Department Backs Off Decision, Wash. Post, Jan. 30, 2015
- "A Bump in the Road" for the National Commission on Forensic Science, Forensic Science, Statistics, and the Law, Jan. 29, 2015
The following are excerpts from the transcript of the second day of the January 29-30 Commission meeting in Washington, D.C. I have edited them to correct misspellings, remove redundancies, etc. The full transcript is (or at least was) at http://www.captionedtext.com/client/ViewTranscript.aspx?EventId=2541437&ParticipantId=14469494-359b-4882-ad09-d1f77ab69e5e.