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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 SessionsConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Support for legal marijuana hits all-time high: Gallup Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' 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: Bolton tells Russians 2016 meddling had little effect | Facebook eyes major cyber firm | Saudi site gets hacked | Softbank in spotlight over Saudi money | YouTube fights EU 'meme ban' proposal Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout 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 ComeyConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Former FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure 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 TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report 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 RosensteinConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Papadopoulos set to testify before House lawmakers Rod Rosenstein has no conflict 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 McCabeRod Rosenstein has no conflict FBI investigated media leak of McCabe comment about Flynn and Trump Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request 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.