In the lobbying affair, the CDU member Amthor continues to face massive criticism. A waiver of his seat in the U committee for the Breitscheidplatz attack is also required. There is even criticism from the CDU.
Green leader Robert Habeck has called for the criticized CDU member of the Bundestag, Philipp Amthor, to leave the Bundestag’s committee of inquiry into the terrorist attack on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. If Amthor does not act himself, the group leadership of the Union must do so. In the committee, ex-constitution protection chief Hans-Georg Maaben should also be interviewed, who "is recognizable as a buddy of Philipp Amthor", said Habeck, "so that I cannot see how a neutral questioning should be possible.".
The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the committee, Benjamin Strasser, said that the Union should "seriously consider withdrawing Philipp Amthor from the investigative committee". In such close personal and business relationships with acting persons like Maaben, "an impartial and critical questioning is unthinkable".
Amthor is criticized for campaigning for the US company Augustus Intelligence. He called this a "mistake". Although he officially reported his sideline activity, he made himself politically vulnerable. In a report by "Spiegel" about it, there is also a photo that Amthor shows, among other things, with dimensions.
SPD wants Union to move in the lobby register
Habeck reiterated his party’s demand for a lobby register that could be used to trace which associations or companies have shaped laws and regulations and who has what access to ministries and members of parliament.
With a view to the Amthor case, the SPD again called on the Union to give up its resistance to the lobby register that has long been required. The deputy parliamentary group leader Katja Mast said: "If our coalition partner is serious, something is moving politically this week – structurally and not selectively."
The Left Party wants to request a current hour in the Bundestag on the affair. This was announced by the group of the AFP news agency. Left leader Katja Kipping asked Amthor to give up his parliamentary mandate. There is also the question of why he is on the board of directors of a company with which he was involved as a member of parliament, she said. "Why didn’t the stock options he received appear in the side income reports?"
"Not exactly smart"
There is also criticism of Amthor from within. "That was not exactly wise and clever, what he did," said the provisional state chairman of the CDU Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Eckhardt Rehberg, at "Bild Live". Rehberg, who is also a member of the Bundestag, urged his party colleagues to provide clarification.
Amthor wants to become CDU country chief and, according to Rehberg, is expected at the state board meeting on Friday. There will be discussed how to proceed with the election of the board.
Ministry defends meeting with Amthor and Augustus
The Federal Ministry of Economics defended a meeting at the state secretary level with Augustus. A spokeswoman said it was a "normal procedure" that contacts made by members of the Bundestag were processed by the responsible parliamentary state secretaries. At the meeting in November 2018 between the then state secretary Christian Hirte (CDU), who was responsible for digital, with Amthor and the company’s management, there was no talk of funding or cooperation. There were also no follow-up appointments.
A few days before the meeting there was a short video switch. It was about a presentation of the company and developments in the field of artificial intelligence and blockchain.
The Bundestag administration is apparently investigating
According to a media report, Amthor could also face trouble with the Bundestag administration. According to "Zeit Online", it determines whether Amthor was unlawfully generating pecuniary benefits with his trips to appointments with Augustus Intelligence in New York, St. Moritz and Corsica. The administration is also investigating a letter that Amthor wrote for Augustus Intelligence on Bundestag paper to Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier.