Issa might have the power to compel such an interview but Pickering has the ability to control the communication. He should request that the interview be taped, or at least transcribed verbatim, that he receive an unedited and untouched copy of the recording, and that he would insist upon the right to use the information in that recording as he sees fit in insuring that his views and statements are properly and accurately represented by any individual who makes claims related to them. There are many advantages to this for Pickering, some obvious and some not so. On the obvious side would be his ability to clarify any representation made that is either factually inaccurate or lacking in sustentative intellectual comprehensive skills on the part of an individual who could not understand his testimony. In another context, it would permit him to assess such incongruous interpretations as indicative of someone who is either duplicitous or less than intellectually up to the task required or expected of a representative of the people.
On the less obvious side, the recorded testimony would become an ideal tool to be used by Pickering in conducting his public hearing testimony, assuming that after the closed-door interview the public hearings were not deferred or cancelled. That possibility of the public hearings being postponed for the equivalent of an infinite amount of time would then permit Pickering to conduct the equivalent of a public hearing independent of the Congressional committee.
Now Issa and the Committee may not agree to the recording of the closed-door proceedings, granting those recording an official status; but there are recourses to that also. You just need to be flexible and creative.
Rather than viewing Issa’s committee demands for a closed-door hearing, Pickering should be welcoming it. People are to often assessing situations in a much narrower context than they should. When the conditions are not to your satisfaction, that is the time when you need to step back and expand the strategies and tactics that you employ in dealing with the problem facing you. When you see people testifying before Congress, more often than not, they are of the opinion that Congress holds all the power in those situations. For that statement to be true, Congress would also have to be better informed, more knowledgeable and smarter than the people being questioned. Statistically speaking you would assume that that should only be true about half the time; and with our familiarity with Congress I think that most people would probably assess that that would be true less than ten-percent of the time.