Election campaigns of 2017 and 2022: justice investigates the role of consulting firms

This announcement comes after the numerous accusations that have targeted Emmanuel Macron on his supposed links with the American company McKinsey, but the name of the president is not mentioned in the official communication of the prosecution. The Élysée affirms that justice must investigate “in complete independence”.

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October relating to the intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022, after the numerous accusations which targeted Emmanuel Macron on his supposed links with McKinsey.

During the last presidential campaign, a Senate report sparked heated controversy over the use of public funds for the benefit of these firms, which have signed numerous contracts with the State in recent years. The opposition then called for an investigation into the possible favoritism which McKinsey would have benefited from from the Macronist majority.

“It is up to the judiciary to conduct these investigations independently,” reacted the Elysée this Thursday at the start of the evening.

The name of the president absent from the PNF press release

After an article from Parisian entitled “McKinsey case: Emmanuel Macron targeted by an investigation for illegal campaign financing”, the PNF published a press release on Thursday to “clarify the situation of various criminal proceedings” initiated after the Senate report as well as various complaints and reports.

The prosecution clarified that “following several reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial investigation was opened on October 20, 2022, in particular of the heads of non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account, relating to the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”. Without specifying the names of the candidates potentially concerned.

According to Mediapart, some members of the McKinsey cabinet could have worked for free during Emmanuel Macron’s victorious presidential campaign in 2017. The head of state, whose name therefore does not appear in the PNF press release, is whatever happens. protected by his criminal immunity, provided for in article 67 of the Constitution.

A previous investigation already underway

In addition, in its press release, the public prosecutor adds that “following several complaints from elected officials and associations”, another information “was opened on October 21, 2022 from the heads of favoritism and concealment of favouritism”. These two procedures are in addition to a preliminary investigation which had already been underway since March 31 for “aggravated money laundering of aggravated tax evasion” and which had given rise to a search at McKinsey’s French headquarters on May 24.

The Senate report indeed pointed to a possible tax arrangement for French entities of McKinsey, which would have allowed them to pay no corporate tax between 2011 and 2020.

“The contribution to the tax of a company, it is not only the corporate tax”, had for its part retorted Clarisse Magnin-Mallez, general manager of McKinsey France, on BFM Business in July. “We have paid almost half a billion euros over the past few years, in particular in social security contributions.”

Macron had refuted any “scheme”

During the presidential election of 2022, Emmanuel Macron had for his part refuted any “scheme”, affirming that the contracts concluded between the State and McKinsey had been in compliance with the rules in force. “No contract signed in the Republic if there is not a call for competition and a public procurement contract”, he had retorted on March 27 on France 3 to those who reproached him for these numerous contracts.

“If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court”he then replied.

“If McKinsey has cheated, he will be prosecuted,” he added regarding the company’s tax situation. The Head of State then had welcomed the opening of an investigation into this aspect. “It’s very good that the judge, the tax auditors take up a case when it is said that a company has defrauded”, he explained on TF1 in early April.

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