The French electoral commission has issued a chilling warning to both the press and individual internet users across the country: if you report on or help spread documents leaked from French presidential favorite Emmanuel Macronâ€™s private correspondences, prepare to face criminal punishment.
The CNCCEP, Franceâ€™s election authority, penned a message to the media on Saturday after preliminarily reviewing the contents of a nine-gigabyte dump of emails and other documents allegedly purloined from Macronâ€™s En Marche! political party.
â€śThe commission stresses that the dissemination or republication of such information, fraudulently obtained and which may, in all likelihood, have been mixed with false information, is liable to be classified as criminal in several respects for which its authors will be held responsible,â€ť the statement read.
The commission went on to encourage â€śfirst and foremost the media, but also all citizens,â€ť to not talk about or speculate on the contents of the hacked documents â€śin order not to alter the integrity of the vote, not to break the bans laid down by the law and not to expose themselves to the committing of criminal offences.â€ť
Franceâ€™s mainstream media — which has demonstrated a clear and unapologetic bias toward the globalist, establishment-sanctioned Macron over the populist firebrand Marine Le Pen â€“ has been quick to blame the hacks on both the 4chan forum, depicted as a haven for far-right American mischief-makers, and Russia, the bugbear accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Senior Le Pen adviser Florian Philippot questioned the media blackout, wondering in a tweet: â€śWill the #Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism deliberately buried? â€¦ I fear democracy is wrecked.â€ť
Traditionally, French media outlets end all election coverage the day before polls open in order to give voters the opportunity to reflect on the choice ahead of them. The timing of the leaks, which came just two days before voters head to the ballot on Sunday, has been held up by Macron supporters as a clear indication that the leakers meant to tamper with the democratic process.