The Hill, July 17, 2017:
'[T]he presidential commission on Monday said it doesn’t have to follow those laws because it’s not a federal agency.
'“The Commission is not an agency subject to the APA and the E-Government Act because it lacks ‘substantial independent authority in the exercise of specific functions.’ The Commission reports directly to the President and is ‘solely advisory,’” attorneys in the Department of Justice argued in court documents.
'The attorneys, who include Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general for the civil division, said the commission was created to "submit a report to the President that identifies rules and activities that enhance and undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting process used in Federal elections” and to identify “vulnerabilities in voting systems ... that could lead to Improprieties.”
'“The Commission has no regulatory, funding, or enforcement powers, nor does it have any independent administrative responsibilities,” the attorneys said in court briefs. “Instead, it exists solely to provide research and advice to the President. It is not, therefore, an ‘agency.’”