US President Donald Trump has authorized economic sanctions against any International Criminal Court official investigating or charging US military personnel “without US approval,” the White House announced Thursday.
The spokesperson said in a statement that despite repeated calls from the United States and their allies for reform, the International Criminal Court has done nothing to reform itself and continues to carry out politically motivated investigations against the United States and their allies, including Israel.
A senior Trump administration official said, without giving details, that the ICC investigation into the war in Afghanistan is being pushed forward by an organization of questionable integrity and accused Russia of playing a role.
The official said the order authorizes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in consultation with Treasury Secretary Stephen Manuchin, to freeze the assets of International Criminal Court staff in the United States of America involved in the investigation.
It also authorizes Pompeo to prevent these individuals from entering the United States.
The International Criminal Court decided the investigation after it became clear from a preliminary examination in 2017 that there were reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes were committed in Afghanistan and that the International Criminal Court had jurisdiction.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the International Criminal Court set up in The Hague to try war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. It has jurisdiction only if a Member State is unable or unwilling to prosecute these crimes on their own.