Macron and justice: behind the facade, a merciless war

On the first day of the second five-year term, war had already been declared, if not declared, at least under way. Emmanuel Macron did not appreciate – understatement – that Chantal Arens, First President of the Court of Cassation, and François Molins, Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, skipped the investiture ceremony, on May 7, 2022 at the Elysée. A dark story of invitations received too late which does not deceive anyone, in any case not the Head of State. A striking summary of the missed meeting between the president and justice.

Emmanuel Macron is a child of the PNF. Without the intervention of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office in the 2017 electoral campaign and the questioning of François Fillon suddenly caught up in the alleged fictitious job of his wife, would the current president have found the keys to the Elysée? This Thursday, November 24, Le Parisien reveals that the national financial prosecutor’s office opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October, one “on the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”, the other on suspicions of “favoritism” concerning them, information confirmed by the financial public prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert in a press release.

Officially, everything is fine in the best of transparency worlds. The Elysée told AFP that it had “taken note of the communication from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office concerning the opening of two judicial inquiries following in particular complaints from elected officials and associations”, adding: “It is up to the justice to carry out these investigations independently.” 100% wooden language guarantee. Because when a macronist (historical) says what he really thinks, his reaction is less measured: “The PNF continues its enterprise of destruction”. And the subject refers Emmanuel Macron to the flaws born of his singular trajectory as a business lawyer who has arisen without warning in politics. Just as it falls badly: “McKinsey who stuffs himself while the French take inflation and the increase in the price of energy”, it is not necessarily a very flattering parallel.

This is the first time that this judicial institution, created in 2013, has opened an investigation against a President of the Republic in office… after having done so against his Secretary General, Alexis Kohler and his Minister of Justice.

It was September 3, another date that punctuates the standoff between the current political power and the judicial world. We then learn simultaneously that Eric Dupond-Moretti, indicted since July 2021 for “illegal taking of interests”, is referred to the Court of Justice of the Republic – a first for a Minister of Justice in office, who immediately lodged an appeal in cassation, suspensive. Then the secretary general of the Elysée, Alexis Kohler, is indicted for illegal taking of interest in the investigation into his links with the shipowner MSC. And how does the executive react? Like nothing ever happened. Judicial pressure leaves Emmanuel Macron unmoved. “Justice is an authority, not a power. I will not let justice become a power”, declared the head of state in the closed session of the Council of Ministers a few days before the indictment of Dupond-Moretti in 2021. That’s not all: there are a number of macronists to consider that the current Keeper of the Seals was reappointed to the Chancellery in May 2022 not despite his indictment, but… thanks to her .

The ideological offensive took place a little earlier, on October 18, 2021. That day Emmanuel Macron was in Poitiers and he was dealing directly with the face-to-face between politics and the judiciary: “When officials, civil servants, ministers and elected officials are cited in a procedure for a crisis still in progress, we are far from appeasement and balance. Faced with “citizens who have become prosecutors” and a “political world which has lost the culture of responsibility vis-à-vis citizens”, it is necessary “to redefine the fields of criminal responsibility of civil servants, elected officials and ministers”. He adds: “We must distinguish between more individual acts and those which are carried out within the framework of the service or the mission. We must never make public decision-making impossible, we must never fall into a situation of public powerlessness. , nor take away from the people the choices which, in a democracy, must ultimately be theirs. These words, it is he who chose them, it is he who dictated them to his advisers.

It is not a question here of the action of the political leader, but of the attitude of the candidate. This does not change much to an increasingly worrying fact on the public scene: the political power and the judicial authority are no longer able to work in harmony.

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