Sessions defends firing Comey, warns DOJ report could prompt more terminations

On the eve of the release of a potentially explosive new report, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard Sessions Senate outlook slides for GOP Supreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report MORE defended the termination of the FBI’s top two former executives and warned that the forthcoming report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory Gallup: Trump's job approval rating erodes among key groups MORE email probe could result in more people being fired.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill’s new TV show "Rising," which aired Thursday morning, Sessions defended the decision to fire ex-Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed The Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing A new age of lies? MORE, whom he said “made a big mistake” that belied a “serious breach of discipline.” 

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Sessions also made clear that he is open to firing more employees if the Justice Department inspector general’s soon-to-be-released report warrants it. 

“I think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report,” he told "Rising" co-host Buck Sexton. “I think it will help us better fix any problems that we have and reassure the American people that some of the concerns that have been raised are not true.”

“If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” he added.

Sessions spoke to “Rising” just hours before Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to release a report on Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case in 2016 and his subsequent firing by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Anderson Cooper: Trump's Bubba Wallace tweet was 'racist, just plain and simple' Beats by Dre announces deal with Bubba Wallace, defends him after Trump remarks Overnight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding MORE in 2017.

Published reports have said the report concludes Comey was insubordinate as FBI director when he refused Justice Department advice and announced a renewal of the Clinton email case just days before the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions said he is certain that Comey’s firing was justified.

“It was the right thing to do. The facts were pretty clear on it. He made a big mistake and he testified only a few weeks before that termination that he would do it again if he had the opportunity. So we felt like there was a serious breach of discipline within the department if we allowed him to continue.”

Trump has indicated various motives for firing the former FBI director. The termination was recommended in a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinSupreme Court to hear dispute over Democrats' access to Mueller materials Republicans release newly declassified intelligence document on FBI source Steele GOP's Obama-era probes fuel Senate angst MORE that referenced Comey's "handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails."

Sessions also said the termination earlier this year of Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeShowtime miniseries to feature Jeff Daniels as Comey, Brendan Gleeson as Trump Lisa Page joins MSNBC as legal analyst McCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe MORE for allegedly lying to investigators about his media contacts was also “the right decision.” McCabe's termination resulted from a separate report from Horowitz charging Comey's former deputy with unauthorized leaking.