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Senate Intel chair doesn't expect James Comey to be "constrained in any way"

Comey on the Hill Thursday

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that he doesn't expect former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to be "fenced off" or "constrained" when he appears before the committee Thursday.

"He can't talk about anything that's classified in an open session," Burr told reporters Monday, "but I haven't gotten any indication that he is constrained in any way, shape or form as a public citizen."

Comey was already expected to talk about his conversations with President Trump, which Burr again confirmed. The chairman also said he spoke to him Saturday, the latest of several conversations he's had with the fired FBI director. But not only will Comey talk about the Trump conversations -- and the memos he wrote following his talks with the president -- but he'll also address the Russia investigation Comey was leading at the time he was fired by Mr. Trump.

Anticipation builds ahead of Comey's testimony

"It's about Russia's involvement in our 2016 election which is the investigation," Burr said. "And that does lead into the possibility of collusion by either campaign, but it also gets into questions that have been raised publicly about conversations that may or may not have taken place. He'll have an opportunity to clear that all up."

Comey is "looking forward to having the opportunity to publicly share his thoughts and views," Burr said. And moreover, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has apparently not moved to impose any limits on Comey's testimony.

"I understand that the special counsel has not fenced him off in any way, shape or form from the items he intends to talk about," Burr said.

The committee does not yet have the Comey memos, and Burr said that he doubts that they'll see them before Thursday. Asked whether he thought the committee would see them at all, Burr replied, "Oh, I think eventually. Nothing in Washington stays locked up forever."

CBS News' John Nolen contributed to this report.

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