French Parliament to Weigh Call for Probe on Le Pen, Bannon Ties
(Bloomberg) -- France’s parliament has been asked to open a probe into far-right political leader Marine Le Pen’s ties to Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former adviser, and the potential access to top civil servants her party may have helped him get.
The two chambers’ presidents will weigh the request by some lawmakers to investigate Le Pen for potential “collusion with a foreign power.” That follows a call by former conservative minister and ex-lawmaker Frederic Lefebvre, who’s close to President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party.
Le Pen “may call herself a patriot, but she’s clearly throwing her country into the hands of someone who wants to destroy Europe,” Lefebvre said in an interview. “Wanting to destroy Europe is wanting to destroy France. Our parliament must investigate.”
France 2 television last week reported that Bannon, along with advising Le Pen and her National Rally party, may have gained access to senior French civil servants through Le Pen’s partner and party official Louis Aliot.
The TV report and the lawmakers’ request for a probe come less than two weeks before European Parliament elections. The National Rally is running neck and neck with Republic on the Move. Le Pen said she and her party will file a defamation suit against Lefebvre.
Bannon, who’s credited with helping craft Trump’s political image during the presidential campaign and his tenure as White House Chief Strategist, has crisscrossed Europe over the last nine months in a bid to help build a nationalist coalition.
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