Republicans seemingly agreed Tuesday that FBI Director James Comey's decision to conclude the Hillary Clinton email probe without recommending prosecution eroded the credibility of the Justice Department.

While Clinton's campaign expressed relief that the email controversy was "resolved" by Comey's announcement, Republicans signaled that controversy over the Justice Department's handling of the situation was only beginning.

Sen. Ted Cruz questioned the "integrity" of the investigation that led to Clinton and her aides being cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

"Director Comey has rewritten a clearly worded federal criminal statute," Cruz said in a statement. "In so doing, he has come dangerously close to saying that grossly negligent handling of classified information should not result in serious consequences for high-level officials."

Cruz said the FBI's decision was "troubling" for the "rule of law."

The Texas Republican was not the only lawmaker to raise concerns about the decision's lasting impact on the rule of law.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the FBI had done "damage" to the rule of law by declining to recommend an indictment in a move he said set a "terrible precedent" for future cases.

Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, told Fox News Tuesday that Comey's announcement could prevent him from ever recommending criminal charges in a case related to the improper handling of classified information.

Comey described in detail Clinton's "extremely careless" treatment of sensitive material, including dozens of emails that were classified at the time they were written, before suggesting the evidence obtained by his team was not enough to tempt prosecutors into pursuing the case.

The disconnect between the case Comey laid out and the conclusion he drew from it prompted congressional leaders to push for an investigation of the investigation, a move that could be more feasible now that Justice Department officials can no longer hide behind the "ongoing" nature of the probe when pressed for details.

Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded Comey hand over the evidence he used to absolve Clinton of criminal wrongdoing. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, his House counterpart, sent Comey a letter asking him to clarify how the "extreme carelessness" he identified among Clinton's aides differed from the "gross negligence" that constitutes a violation of the law.

The FBI's move Tuesday reinforced Donald Trump's frequent argument that the justice system is "rigged" in favor of powerful figures like Clinton.

He argued at a rally held hours after Comey's announcement that President Obama and Clinton were both agents of the political establishment he has vowed to upend.

Obama rankled Republican observers when he said in October of last year that Clinton's private email use put no national security assets at risk. His comments were decried by some as an inappropriate signal to the Justice Department about how the investigation should proceed.

Calls for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appoint a special prosecutor to remove potential bias from the decision-making process went unheeded for nearly a year, with Lynch repeatedly countering that her agency boasted unimpeachable impartiality.

But Lynch's objectivity was called into question last week after a local Arizona reporter spotted a secret meeting between Lynch and Clinton's husband on a private jet. While Lynch denied any discussion of the email probe took place, the meeting drew condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats who accused the attorney general of exercising poor judgement at best and dealing in corruption at worst.

The timing of Comey's announcement also raised eyebrows given that it fell just hours before Clinton was slated to appear onstage alongside Obama at a rally in North Carolina.

Even longtime defenders of Clinton spoke out against the falsehoods exposed by Comey's scathing speech Tuesday.

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell noted the FBI director's account of her private email use "completely disputes" the talking points Clinton's campaign has been promoting since March of last year.