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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 SessionsFBI investigated whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media Ex-Senate Intel staffer pleads guilty to lying to feds over contacts with journalists House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein 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 ClintonCarter Page files defamation lawsuit against DNC Dems fear party is headed to gutter from Avenatti’s sledgehammer approach Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight 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 ComeyFBI investigated whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Three reasons Mueller may not charge Trump with obstruction 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 TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration 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 Jay RosensteinFBI investigated whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Sessions unveils task force to combat transnational criminal groups like MS-13 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 McCabeFBI investigated whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Rod Rosenstein must recuse himself 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.