For CSU boss Markus Söder it is a severe blow that the mask affair is now also being investigated against the CSU state parliament member Alfred Sauter. And not only because a second CSU politician is now involved and there is another scene with the state parliament, right in the center of power of the CSU. The parliamentary group likes to see itself as the heart of the party, even if it is far from its prime. The person in question is also alarming for Söder.
Sauter is not just any unknown backbencher, but one of the most colorful figures of the CSU. He is one of the best-networked and best-informed members of the state parliament, there is hardly a relevant incident that he does not know or at least has heard of. Edmund Stoiber, who dismissed him as Minister of Justice in 1999 in the course of the affair of the semi-state housing association LWS, blocked him from a longer career. Sauter was the pawn sacrifice back then so that Stoiber, the king of the time, would not be hit himself.
Since then, Sauter has only been a member of parliament and has also returned to work as a lawyer. Although that doesn’t really apply to the facts, because Sauter is one of the MPs with the highest additional income and has already made the joking remark that he is a MP in his part-time job.
For some time now he has been running a joint law firm with someone who is even more dazzling than himself: Peter Gauweiler. But Gauweiler no longer has to worry about possible unauthorized amalgamations, he no longer has a political mandate. Sauter claims to have drafted the contracts for the mask deal for his Bundestag colleague Georg Nüßlein exclusively in his function as a lawyer, on which Nüßlein made a lot of money. And Sauter apparently even stronger.
But this opens up a field that can be very dangerous, especially for the Union in the whole lobbyist discussion: the confusion of a member of parliament and business interests as a lawyer. After all, where do you stop being a member of parliament, with your contacts and information, and where does the lawyer who capitalize on it begin?