It is almost as if the DOJ Inspector General explicitly timed the release of his long anticipated “explosive” report detailing the FBI’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton probe, which is expected to slam James Comey among others, to coincide with Donald Trump’s birthday. But according to US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, there may be even more good news for the president.
In an exclusive interview with The Hill’s new TV show “Rising,” set to air Thursday morning, the Attorney General 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 Clinton probe could result in more people being fired. In defending the firing of Comey, Sessions said the former FBI head “made a big mistake” that belied a “serious breach of discipline.”
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.”
And the punchline: “If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” he added.
In other words, prepare for a mass exodus at the FBI.
* * *
With the OIG report set for publication later today, published previews have said the report concludes Comey was insubordinate as FBI director when he refused DOJ advice and announced a re-opening of the Clinton email case just days before the 2016 general election.
In this context, Sessions told The Hill 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 [announce reopening the Clinton probe] 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 Rosenstein 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 McCabe 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.