Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who draws inspiration from President Donald Trump, has shown once again her fierce and independent nature as she refused to participate in a potentially politicized investigation involving her, the timing of which is highly suspect.
Le Pen, who is leading in the polls, refused Friday to attend questioning by magistrates who are investigating over charges that she broke the rules on the use of European Parliament funds.
The National Front leader vehemently said that the timing of the investigation is wrong and that she will not respond to the summons during the election campaign. She said that there can not be neutrality or calm necessary for the justice system to function properly. Her lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut, also expressed surprise for the " sudden rush" in the investigation.
Le Pen's personal assistant Catherine Griset was charged on Wednesday with breach of trust in the investigation over claims that the National Front (FN) party defrauded the European Parliament of about 340,000 euros ($360,000). Le Pen has fervently denied the accusations of her supposedly using parliamentary funds to pay Griset as well as her bodyguard Thierry Legier for jobs in France rather than at the European Parliament.
The far-right candidate is widely known for her anti-EU stance and has declared her intentions to call for a referendum on France's membership of the European Union if elected. She has been vocal in wishing for France's own exit from the EU like what Brexit has accomplished.
Le Pen is the current presidential frontrunner in the polls and has expressed confidence she will maintain the lead until the end despite mainstream media's doubts of her eventual victory, drawing parallelisms anew with how Trump pulled off a surprising win despite mainstream media predicting otherwise.
Le Pen is also consistently firm with her anti-immigration stance. She echoes Trump's strong nationalism by following Trump's lead in making " America First" his administration's battlecry, and similarly pushing for a " France First" policy. She has previously said that she hopes to continue the wave of populist victories brought by the upset victories of both Brexit in U.K. and Trump in the U.S.