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A French prosecutor opened an investigation Thursday into a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron, putting the new leader under growing pressure to clean up his own government after he campaigned to improve ethical standards in politics.
Macron stayed awkwardly silent after the announcement of the investigation into Territorial Cohesion Minister Richard Ferrand, an early ally who played a pivotal role in the presidential campaign.
The investigation comes at a bad time for Macron and his government, as they are striving to get a majority in parliament in two-round legislative elections this month to push through his pro-business, pro-EU agenda — and just as Justice Minister Francois Bayrou detailed the first major bill of Macron's presidency Thursday, a law intended to clean up corruption in politics.