Targeted by the report on foreign interference, the National Rally caught in its own trap

Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise, June 1, 2023. Press conference for the launch of the campaign for the senatorial election of Christopher Szczurek, candidate of the National Rally in Pas-de-Calais, in the presence of Marine Le Pen.

Jean-Philippe Tanguy, first term as deputy and nevertheless propelled deputy president of the National Rally (RN) group, knows it: he was fooled. In the fall of 2022, he called for the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into foreign interference in French political lifewith an avowed objective: to tear to pieces the accusations of subservience of Marine Le Pen to Vladimir Poutine, which Emmanuel Macron had used during the interval between the two rounds of the presidential election.

He thus hoped to shine the spotlight on attempts at foreign interference in the political debate from elsewhere – the United States, Gulf countries, China, Morocco… – and to definitively dismiss the narrative given by his adversaries: that of imposed political counterparties to Marine Le Pen in exchange for the granting, by a Russian bank, of a saving loan in 2014. After six months of hearing, the parcel bomb is about to explode in her face.

The report of the commission, written by the rapporteur Constance Le Grip, Renaissance deputy for Hauts-de-Seine, validated with the majority of votes from her office, does not have the expected tone. The text, which was unveiled by Mediapart thursday 1er Junedesignates the RN of Marine Le Pen as a “effective transmission belt” of the Kremlin in France. He dwells at length on the pro-Russian positions taken by Le Pen, on his repeated trips to Russian officials, to Vladimir Putin, and devotes no less than ten pages to the Russian loan of the RN – without however providing evidence of an exchange of services between the far-right party and Russian power.

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“The elected officials of the Nation are among the targets approached by officers under diplomatic cover”writes the rapporteur, citing “naivety and connivance” French elected officials and civil servants. Finally, it notes, after consulting documents from the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Funding (CNCCFP), that the National Front did not, in 2014, need to provide any guarantee against the granting of the loan Russian. And that its rescheduling constitutes “a definite and substantial advantage” granted to the party: the reimburt was postponed from 2019 to 2028, in a context of constrained finances for the RN.

” I feel guilty “

“This report is in the image of the rapporteur, that is to say sectarian, dishonest and completely politicized”replied Marine Le Pen, Thursday morning, in the back room of a cafe in Artois, where she presented her main hope of victory in the senatorial elections in September. “This report is a judgment on the political positions that I have been able to take. This is not a judgment on interference. » In private, Jean-Philippe Tanguy rather uses the word ” tea towel “while lamenting his own naivety. “I chaired this commission without incident, we are consensual, we accept everything. And in the end, boom! I feel guilty. It’s my slightly neuneu, naive side, that I concede. »

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