President Donald Trump came down hard on the International Criminal Court on Thursday by authorizing economic sanctions and travel restrictions against court workers involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials.
“The International Criminal Court’s actions are an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten to infringe upon our national sovereignty,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
“The ICC was established to provide accountability for war crimes, but in practice it has been an unaccountable and ineffective international bureaucracy that targets and threatens United States personnel as well as personnel of our allies and partners.”
The executive order authorized the secretary of state, in consultation with the treasury secretary, to block financial assets of court personnel who directly engage in investigating, harassing or detaining U.S. personnel.
It also authorized the secretary of state to block ICC court officials and their family members involved in the investigations from entering the United States, going beyond the travel restrictions issued by the State Department last year.
McEnany said that, despite repeated calls by the United States and its allies, the ICC has not embraced reform. She alleged the court continues to pursue politically motivated investigations against the U.S. and its partners, including Israel.
“We are concerned that adversary nations are manipulating the International Criminal Court by encouraging these allegations against United States personnel,” McEnany said.
“Further, we have strong reason to believe there is corruption and misconduct at the highest levels of the International Criminal Court office of the prosecutor, calling into question the integrity of its investigation into American service members.”
A senior administration official said the U.S. believes the international court is a target of malign influence by Russia.