Olaf Scholes was expected to fill the presidency with his confidant, Wolfgang Schmidt. Schmidt has been the future president’s confidant for many years and worked closely with Scholes as Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Employees are unusual in other respects: criminal investigations against the high-ranking official are still ongoing, as confirmed on Monday at the request of the Berlin State Attorney. According to Tagesspiegel, Schmidt is currently trying to suspend operations until his official appointment. Neither the public prosecutor nor the federal finance ministry wants to confirm this.
If the process continues until the appointment, this is the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that a member of a federal government has been investigated in parallel. “The federal chancellor is not aware of any such cases,” the government said in a statement.
Schmidt discussed the practice in a post on the Twitter social network. During a public prosecutor’s search of the Federal Ministry of Finance shortly before the federal election, he released parts of a judicial search warrant in full. Official documents of current criminal activity should not be published. It contains “prohibited communication about court hearings” under Section 353d of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
The House of Representatives said it was a political question whether a minister could be appointed in this capacity
Like his predecessor Helge Brown (CDU), Schmidt should explicitly occupy the post of “Union Minister for Special Services”. Thus he belongs to the Cabinet, has public service relations and has the same rights and duties as other Ministers.
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Entry requirements for the job are not regulated by federal law or the Basic Law. As President of Olaf Scholes, he is free to unite his members of government. Even the federal head who appoints ministers cannot disagree here. “Whether an inquiry into a crime under the Criminal Code is an impediment to the appointment of a Union Minister is not a legal, but primarily a political question,” the Chancellor said.
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Through Schmidt, Twitter and his press contacts Worked as a “spin doctor” for Scholes, His release was so far considered reasonable. After learning of the investigation, the politician spread the word on Twitter that media reports about the raid had given a “false impression” due to the public prosecutor’s statement. Therefore, the Twitter release is “necessary”. It was doubtful whether the public prosecutor would believe this. It now appears that Schmidt has agreed to pay a cash requirement to complete the transaction.
It is not clear whether Schmidt leaked the entire search warrant to journalists
It is also unclear whether Schmidt sent the full text of the search warrant to reporters. Confidential so as not to appear as evidence. This may also be an offense under section 353D. Following Tagesspiegel’s application, the Berlin Executive Court compelled the Ministry of Finance to provide information not yet provided (Note: VG 27 L 298/21).
The ministry has appealed against the decision.
It is also unclear whether Schmidt secretly leaked any documents or official statements to the media in order to shed light on the federal finance minister, especially in the discussions on the Come-X deals at the Hamburg-based Warburg Bank. And wireless corruption.
In a further lawsuit in executive court, the ministry told Tagesspiegel that Schmidt could not “reconstruct” many of its exchanges with journalists. This too was not monitored on his electronic devices. The Court rejected Tagesspiegel’s request for information as this information should be sufficient in response (Note: VG 27 L 342/21).