French defense chief steps down amid investigation

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, French defense minister Sylvie Goulard and Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier, right, watch

France's President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference following a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, at the Elysee Pa

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron's defense minister is stepping down amid an investigation into her use of European Parliament aides.

Sylvie Goulard, the most prominent woman in Macron's Cabinet, issued a statement Tuesday suggesting she doesn't want the investigation to hurt Macron's efforts to clean up corruption in politics.

Goulard is one of several French politicians who allegedly used European Parliament salaries to fund work on their own political parties. Other members of Macron's government are also targeted. They deny wrongdoing but their problems are posing a challenge to Macron.

Goulard said she wants to be free to "show my good faith" in the investigation into the parliamentary assistants. She said she no longer wants to serve in the government as Macron reshuffles the Cabinet after winning a parliamentary majority Sunday.