Russian interference: Marine Le Pen under the caudine forks of Parliament

A moment to say the least unpleasant to pass

Russian interference: Marine Le Pen under the caudine forks of Parliament

A moment to say the least unpleasant to pass. Marine Le Pen did not hide a certain irritation during her more than three hours of hearing before the parliamentary committee on foreign interference, this Wednesday at the National Assembly. She nevertheless left with a smile... Requested by the deputies of her own movement, the National Rally, the cenacle met for the first time in January, a few months after the corruption scandal which hit Parliament European, and was able to listen for four months during about thirty researchers, political leaders of all persuasions, journalists and business leaders.

Its mission was officially to "establish whether there are foreign networks of influence that corrupt elected officials, public officials, leaders of strategic companies or media outlets with the aim of disseminating propaganda or obtaining contrary decisions. to the national interest". For the elected officials of the party to the flame, he also and above all had a more prosaic objective: to drive away definitively, if not the suspicions, at least the recurring accusations of collusion with Vladimir Putin's Russia of which the candidate is the subject. unhappy in the last presidential election.

Everyone in his campaign team remembers the sally launched by Emmanuel Macron in the middle of the debate between the two rounds: "You were one of the first European politicians to recognize the annexation of Crimea. You did it because you depend on Mr Putin. […] You don't talk to another leader, you talk to your banker when you talk to Russia. A direct allusion to the loan of 9 million euros granted to the National Front for the European elections of 2014 which will end up being reimbursed in 2028 by the First Czech Russian Bank (FCRB). A Russian bank that went bankrupt in 2016 and whose assets were later acquired by a Russian civil and military aerospace company, Aviazapchast.

The many questions from parliamentarians this Wednesday about the circumstances and the conclusion of this loan have allowed Marine Le Pen to denounce, once again, the lack of access of her political party to French and European bank credits which have forced to knock on the doors of foreign establishments and finally have the choice between a Russian, Chinese or Iranian bank: "We sent 200 letters. None of the establishments contacted agreed to give us a loan. It is unbelievable that the government does not allow a candidate to find funding. This goes against Article 4 of the Constitution,” she thundered. Before recalling the promises to create a "democracy bank" made by the Head of State during his 2017 presidential campaign, a commitment translated into a law passed shortly after his election by the National Assembly but which however, never saw the light of day.

Under the flood of uninterrupted and often repetitive questions, Marine Le Pen denounced a "defamation campaign" led against her by "the President of the Republic and his troops" for an "opportunist and electoralist" purpose. Among the most biting of his interrogators, the deputy EELV of Paris Julien Bayou pointed out that 75% of the sum remained to be reimbursed more than five years later: "This agreement allowed you to avoid sanctions in France and to mismanage your left. […] If you read [Article 4 of the Constitution] to the end, it says that parties must respect the principles of national sovereignty and democracy. You have had recourse to foreign funding. I don't believe that corresponds to national sovereignty. Repeatedly repeating that he “signed a loan with a bank, not with Vladimir Putin; otherwise, all of you have signed loans with Macron”, Marine Le Pen has nonetheless made a commitment, if she is one day elected President of the Republic, to ban foreign loans… A way of implicitly recognizing the problem .

Due to the lack of clear evidence of a direct link between the conclusion of this Russian loan and the geopolitical positions of the Front, which became the National Rally, recognizing the annexation of Crimea or against the sanctions against Russia, for example, the The fire of parliamentarians was finally concentrated on these positions. Giving the opportunity to Marine Le Pen to denounce a "trial in political disagreement" before exhuming the affable remarks and positions vis-à-vis Russia held, at the time, by Nicolas Sarkozy, until Emmanuel Macron and without forgetting Manuel Valls. "Our opponents are mad they insisted on auditioning him. It's gold in the bar, "enthuses an RN deputy. If the conclusions of the commission of inquiry are expected in early June, Marine Le Pen's entourage has already drawn its own: no collusion with Vladimir Putin's regime has been demonstrated. What they will not hesitate to remember in the future.