That’s why it’s so critical for the House select committee investigating the insurrection to question Bannon, Dean told Jim Acosta on CNN Saturday.
“We have to be careful about what inferences we draw from non-appearance or non-testimony,” Dean cautioned, referring to Bannon’s bold decision to ignore — at Trump’s urging — a committee subpoena to testify earlier this week. “But I think Bannon is up to his eyeballs” in the Jan. 6 riot. “I think he’s a vital witness,” Dean added.
“I think he could lead to Trump or those closest to Trump, and I do believe that the indications are that Trump is much more involved in this whole thing than we think he was,” said Dean, who served as White House counsel to Richard Nixon before flipping on him over the Watergate scandal.
“I think this committee is determined” to get answers, said Dean. “I hope, Jim, they get their act together and use the power they do have, which is inherent contempt powers” to crack down on Bannon, Dean added.
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced Thursday that the panel will seek criminal contempt charges against Bannon.
Check out Dean’s full interview in the video clip up top. He talks about Bannon and Trump’s suspected behind-the-scenes involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection beginning at 3:25.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.