French prosecutors are investigating financial links between Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign and US consulting firm McKinsey

France’s finance prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into alleged favoritism and alleged illegal funding of President Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 election campaign in connection with contracts with McKinsey, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

Prosecutors confirmed they had expanded an existing investigation into alleged tax fraud by advisory group McKinsey to include advisory groups’ role in the 2017 and 2022 election races.

It did not confirm the probe was aimed at Mr Macron’s campaign, but said it was releasing its statement in response to the newspaper reports.

Mr Macron’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Le Parisien’s story and declined to comment on the prosecutor’s testimony.

McKinsey has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

If it were confirmed that the probe was aimed at his campaign, it would be the next inquest that Mr Macron, who came to power, has promised to clean up politics in France.

While Le Parisien said the probe targeted Mr Macron’s campaign, she did not say it targeted Mr Macron himself.

Presidents in France enjoy immunity during their term of office.

An investigation does not necessarily result in a criminal prosecution or imply guilt. It can be years before such probes are either shelved or brought to justice.

The expanded investigations were opened due to a number of complaints from politics and associations, said the financial public prosecutor.

“Following multiple reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial inquiry was launched on October 20, 2022,” the PNF said.

The main focus was on allegations of “improper management of campaign accounts” and “underestimating the role of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns”.

A judicial inquiry into allegations of favoritism and the concealment of favoritism was also opened.

A McKinsey spokesman confirmed a text messaged request for comment but did not comment. Phone calls to the consultancy’s Paris headquarters went unanswered.

Mr Macron’s government’s use of private advisers exploded as an unexpected problem ahead of this spring’s presidential election, in which Mr Macron won a second term.

The opposition had accused Mr Macron’s government of spending too much on international consultancies, which pay little or no tax in France.

This first investigation into the US management consultancy was launched after the French Senate claimed in March that the firm does not pay corporate taxes in France.

Police raided McKinsey’s Paris office in May in connection with an investigation into alleged tax fraud, tax prosecutors said at the time.

“We have nothing to hide,” Budget Minister Olivier Dussopt said at a press conference in March.

The government had also said McKinsey would have to pay any taxes it might owe.

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/french-prosecutors-probe-finance-links-between-emmanuel-macrons-election-campaign-and-us-consultancy-mckinsey-42171982.html French prosecutors are investigating financial links between Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign and US consulting firm McKinsey

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