Trump Places Sanctions On International Criminal Court As It Investigates U.S. Military Actions In Afghanistan
President Donald Trump authorized economic sanctions against the International Criminal Court on Thursday, due to the ICC’s investigation of alleged war crimes by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Trump also declared a national emergency over the “threat” of ICC and implemented visa restrictions on court officials directly involved in investigations of U.S. citizens.
In his executive order, Trump said that “any attempt by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States … constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the court “corrupt,” “highly politicized” and on an “ideological crusade against American servicemembers” during a press conference on Thursday.
“We will not stand by as our people are threatened by a kangaroo court,” Pompeo said.
Attorney General William Barr claimed the Justice Department “received substantial credible information that raises serious concerns about a long history of financial corruption and malfeasance at the highest levels” of the court, which his department is now looking into.
The ICC “is little more than a political tool employed by unaccountable international elites,” Barr said.
In response to Trump’s move, the ICC issued a statement affirming its “commitment to discharging, independently and impartially, the mandate bestowed upon it.”
The ICC claimed the Trump administrations’ condemnation of the court was “announced with the declared aim of influencing the actions of ICC officials in the context of the court’s independent and objective investigations and impartial judicial proceedings.“
The court began what is believed to be its first probe into misdeeds by American troops in March, after ICC judges authorized an investigation into a range of alleged crimes in Afghanistan, including those committed by the Afghan government, the U.S. military and the Taliban.