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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 SessionsBiden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Biden administration should resist 'slush-fund' settlements 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 ClintonChelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants 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 ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges 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 TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he 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 RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office 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 McCabeJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' 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.