“In principle, a minister must leave the government when he is indicted”. This sentence is not from Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Sandrine Rousseau, but from Emmanuel Macron. Shortly before coming to power, the former Minister of the Economy advocated transparency and the moralization of political life. A law on the subject will also have been passed at the start of its first five-year term. But five years later, the president’s speech has evolved. While Alexis Kohler, the secretary general of the Elysée is indicted for illegal taking of interest and Éric Dupond-Moretti is referred to the Court of Justice of the Republic, again for illegal taking of interest, no resignation is not expected by the Head of State.
And in the face of criticism, Emmanuel Macron defends Alexis Kohler. And on this subject, the response of the Chief of the Armies is all found. “As for my secretary general, it will not have escaped you that he is not a minister”, insisted on explaining the President of the Republic. Above all, for him, this indictment in no way justifies his having to separate from his closest collaborator.
“The decision I am making is completely legitimate”
“As for a man who, for several years, has spent his nights and his days serving the State with a devotion and integrity to which I can testify, (…) I consider that the decision I am making is completely legitimate”, explains Emmanuel Macron. And to add: “Justice follows its course in total independence, but these are not procedural decisions – on a file which has been investigated for more than five years, and which has already been classified – which should lead to administrative decisions being taken. And, for me, to choose my collaborators. He has my full confidence.”
Another case, another answer for Éric Dupond-Moretti. The latter is indeed Minister of Justice. But the Head of State considers this case as “a very special case”: “The Keeper of the Seals is indicted as part of a procedure which is a referral to the magistrates’ unions on a case which involved magistrates , in a procedure where he left when he was a lawyer”, justifies Emmanuel Macron, adding that “this does not affect in any way what he did as a minister in his activity, nor even on subjects which, if I can say, is moral”.
Magistrates in the crosshairs
Emmanuel Macron therefore assumes to make exceptions to the rule, at the risk of appearing in contraction with his previous remarks. But the question is obviously elsewhere in his eyes. The president wonders “about the link between the functioning of the executive and the judicial authority”. A question that points with little concealment, the objective of the magistrates.