Obama says despite French concerns, improper for US president to intervene in BNP bank probe

BRUSSELS – President Barack Obama says it’s not his place to intervene in a U.S. investigation into France’s largest bank that could result in a multibillion-dollar fine.

Obama is responding to French concerns about the probe into BNP Paribas for allegedly violating U.S. trade sanctions.

Obama says the American tradition is that the president doesn’t meddle in prosecutions. He says he doesn’t call up the attorney general to tell him how to prosecute or settle cases.

The president says that system is designed to ensure political expediency doesn’t affect the rule of law.

Obama says he’ll read about the case’s resolution in the newspaper just like everybody else.

France’s president says he plans to raise the bank issue during a dinner with Obama in Paris on Thursday night.