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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 SessionsBeto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure 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 ClintonO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Claiming 'spousal privilege' to stonewall Congress 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 ComeyFormer FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure McGahn departs as White House counsel 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 TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council 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 RosensteinConservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump, Obama head to swing states with Senate majority in balance Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week 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 media leak of McCabe comment about Flynn and Trump 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.