Trump Authorizes Sanctions on ICC Over Probe of U.S. War Crimes

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that his administration is placing sanctions on the International Criminal Court in retaliation for the court’s intention to probe the conduct of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

On June 2, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview that “You’ll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, from all across the United States government that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to.”

Israel was not mentioned in Trump’s executive order, but it was mentioned in a White House press statement that explained the decision.

“Despite repeated calls by the United States and our allies to reform, the International Criminal Court has taken no action to reform itself and continues to pursue politically-motivated investigations against us and our allies, including Israel,” the statement said.

The statement also said that “the President’s Executive Order makes clear – the United States will continue to use any means necessary to protect our citizens and our allies from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.”

The statement also made the claim – without providing evidence – that “adversary nations are manipulating the International Criminal Court by encouraging allegations against United States personnel.”

The sanctions announced by Trump could hurt not just the ICC as an institution, but also specific prosecutors and officials who work for the court. Their assets in the U.S. could be frozen, blocked or confiscated. In addition, their entry to the United States may be blocked by the State Department.