Fired FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify in public next week after having been "cleared for takeoff," by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a source close to Comey tells NBC News.
The source, a former law enforcement official, declined to say whether Mueller had specifically authorized Comey to discuss his interactions with President Donald Trump, but said it was reasonable to expect that subject to come up.
People close to Comey have said he is eager to testify in public in the wake of his abrupt dismissal, which Comey allies believe was an attempt to thwart the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling.
A congressional aide tells NBC News that the Senate intelligence committee has long expected that Comey would testify sometime next week and anticipated that he would speak to Mueller in advance to clear what he can and cannot discuss so as not to impede the federal investigation.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday referred all questions about the Russia probe to the president's "outside counsel."