McKinsey consulting firm: justice investigates Emmanuel Macron’s campaign accounts in 2017 and 2022

This is undoubtedly the most sensitive judicial investigation of the moment. And for good reason, she is the first to directly target the President of the Republic. According to our information, confirmed by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), a judicial investigation was opened on October 20 for suspicions of illegal financing of Emmanuel Macron’s electoral campaigns in 2017 and 2022. The investigations are aimed at the links between the head of the state and McKinsey consulting firm. They are interested in the conditions for awarding certain public contracts for colossal amounts to this American company. A second judicial investigation of the heads of favoritism and concealment of favoritism was opened on October 21. In both cases, the PNF specifies that it received reports and complaints from elected officials, individuals and associations.

Three investigating judges, who will be supported by the gendarmerie services, have been appointed to carry out these investigations at the heart of power, including Serge Tournaire, currently dean of the financial center at the Paris court. This experienced magistrate is particularly known for having indicted François Fillon in 2017 in the investigation into the fictitious jobs of his wife Penelopeboth of whom have since been convicted at first instance and then on appeal, as well as Nicolas Sarkozy, in the Bygmalion case.

New suspicions

These new investigations follow the investigations carried out during a first procedure opened in the spring for “aggravated laundering of tax evasion” aimed in particular at McKinsey. It all started with the publication, last March, of a report by a Senate commission of inquiry denouncing the influence of private consulting firms on public policy. The parliamentarians then revealed that the contracts concluded between the State and these consulting companies had “more than doubled” between 2018 and 2021 to reach the record amount of one billion euros last year. Among the firms mandated by the State, the American firm McKinsey.

These massive recourses to these private structures had been sharply criticized by the oppositions who wondered about the reasons which pushed the government to spend so much public money in the private sector for sovereign missions. Among the controversial contracts concluded with McKinsey, that on “the evolution of the teaching profession”invoiced 500,000 euros to the Ministry of National Education.

The questions around these markets were all the greater since it appears that McKinsey paid no corporate tax in France between 2011 and 2020. However, its French turnover was estimated at 329 million euros. in 2020. In the wake of the report, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office had opened a preliminary investigation into a purely tax component on March 31. The French headquarters of the consulting firm had been searched a month later in Paris.

It was following these operations that the PNF decided last month to expand the investigations and to hand over the reins of these ultra-sensitive procedures to financial investigating judges, who are statutorily independent. According to the press release from the PNF, which at first did not wish to communicate on our revelations, the first judicial investigation concerns counts of “non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account, bearing on the conditions for the intervention of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 electoral campaigns”. In this case, these are the charges of article L 113-1 of the electoral code, punishable by three years in prison and a fine of €45,000. It was on the basis of this article that Nicolas Sarkozy was condemned at first instance in the Bygmalion affair – he appealed. Justice is trying to find out whether the consulting firms, including McKinsey, did not provide candidate Macron with work and expertise that should have been counted in campaign expenses.

Emmanuel Macron had challenged any favoritism

A second judicial investigation therefore relates to suspicions of favoritism and concealment. The question is whether McKinsey did not improperly obtain public contracts and whether the power did not take advantage of them. The only certainty at this stage is that there are links between the Head of State, his entourage and the American company. Consultants or ex-consultants of the private firm thus worked for the electoral campaign of the President of the Republic in 2017, revealed The world. In addition, McKinsey employees have taken up positions within the presidential party La République en Marche! or ministerial offices.

Following the Senate report, Emmanuel Macron spoke publicly about the “McKinsey affair” to reject any favoritism towards the American company. “If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court (…) We have the impression that there are tricks, it is false. No contract has been signed in the Republic without respecting the rule of public procurement, that anyone who has proof that there is manipulation puts the contract in question under criminal law”, declared the Head of State at the time. on March 27 on France 3. The President of the Republic benefits from presidential immunity for the duration of his mandate, which means that he cannot be heard for the time being in this procedure, neither by the judges nor by investigators.

Asked this Thursday, the Élysée indicates that it has “taken note of the communication from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office concerning the opening of two judicial inquiries following in particular complaints from elected officials and associations. “And the Élysée to add:” It is up to justice to conduct these investigations in complete independence. »

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