France’s Trump Clone Marine Le Pen Charged Over Fraud Scandal
French far-right leader and self-described Trump fan Marine Le Pen has been placed under criminal investigation over an alleged fraud involving European Parliament funding, several news outlets reported Friday.
The parliament claims some €5m (£4m; $5.4m) went to Ms. Le Pen’s close aides who were not working for MEPs but were actually engaged in the candidate’s National Front party work in France.
According to The Guardian, “Under French law, being put under formal investigation means there is ‘serious or consistent evidence’ that points to probable involvement in a crime.”
The newspaper adds:
“The case was triggered by a complaint from the European Parliament, which accused the Front National of defrauding it on a large scale. An investigation by a European parliament watchdog claimed that between 2011 and 2012 Le Pen had illicitly paid party staff for Front National work using money that should only be used for [Members of the European Parliament] to pay assistants for legislative tasks.”
“Le Pen — who took over the leadership of the National Front from her controversial father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2011 – made an unsuccessful bid for the French presidency, losing last month to Emmanuel Macron.”
The allegations of fraudulent payments first arose in April after the first round of voting in the presidential election, the BBC reports. At the time, Le Pen refused to answer questions about the alleged wrongdoing.
The BBC writes:
“Her lawyer said she had been summoned by magistrates in Paris and ‘as expected, placed under criminal investigation.’
Le Pen’s party has been highly critical of the EU, rejecting its free-market principles and open-border policies.”
Ms Le Pen had refused to answer questions on the matter during the campaign but said she would co-operate after the final round of presidential election voting.
U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed Le Pen’s presidential bid last month. She lost to Emmanuel Macron, who was endorsed by former President Barack Obama.
Well, it seems everyone associated with Trump is involved in criminal activity.