The House Judiciary Committee has been conducting a hearing this afternoon to receive testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder on a variety of topics.  Given the recent developments with both the IRS and AP stories, the hearing was expected to experience a few tense moments.

Surely one of those most contentious moments so far during the hearing has been between House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Holder.  The exchange began with the playing of a telephone recording that Issa indicated was that of Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights.  In the recording, Perez is heard discussing a 2011 Justice Department case against the city of St. Paul, MN and making mention of a request not to disclose the details of that case.  Issa insinuated that the arrangement was in exchange for what he characterized as a quid pro quo agreement for the city to drop a civil rights case that was to be heard by the Supreme Court.

“Is it OK to trade a case you don’t want going to the Supreme Court for a dollar damage case?  That’s the real question here,” Issa pressed of Holder.

The recording seemed to catch many in the room by surprise, most notably Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who then interrupted Issa’s line of questioning to demand a parliamentary inquiry into whether or not it was necessary to provide the recording to the Attorney General or other members of the committee prior to today’s proceedings. (see it at about the 4:40 mark)

The hearing is ongoing this afternoon, you can view it on the C-Span3 livestream.  We will continue to update readers with new developments.