Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Attorney General Willian Barr, on the heels of an executive order from President Trump, announced Thursday that the U.S. will authorize economic sanctions against members of the International Criminal Court who improperly target U.S. officials and American allies.
The order follows a recent ICC decision to allow an investigation into U.S. personnel in Afghanistan for alleged war crimes.
“We cannot and will not stand by as our people are threatened by a kangaroo court,” Pompeo said.
At the time that investigation was announced, Pompeo said the court was under the influence of “misinformation” and accused them of acting “recklessly.”
Pompeo warned allies that they could be next, referencing a threatened ICC investigation into Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“It’s clear the ICC is only putting Israel in its crosshairs for nakedly political purposes,” Pompeo said, stating that more than 300 members of Congress from both parties have called on him to support Israel in this matter.
“Absent corrective action we can expect the ICC will continue its present reckless course,” he said.
That action could include visa restrictions against officials investigating U.S. or allied personnel and economic sanctions against those officials.
“We hold our own accountable much better than the ICC has done for the worst perpetrators of mass criminal atrocities,” he said.
Barr said the U.S. has evidence of corruption that casts doubt on the integrity of ICC investigations. He said the ICC has become “little more than a political tool employed by unaccountable international elites” used “to manipulate and undercut the foreign policies of democratically accountable sovereign nations.”
The U.S. has not signed on to the Rome Statute of 1998, which established the ICC and therefore does not recognize its jurisdiction.
“Rest assured that the men and women of the United States armed forces will never appear before the ICC,” Esper vowed.
Fox News’ Hollie McKay contributed to this report.