Mike Pompeo, Mark Esper, William Barr, and O’Brien held a joint press conference at the State Department.
On Thursday, June 11, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo holds a press conference at the State Department, which is also attended by Pentagon chief mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr, and assistant to the President for national security Robert O’Brien.
The topic of the press conference is the us-imposed sanctions against several employees of the International criminal court.
Opening the press conference, Mike Pompeo spoke about the ongoing International criminal court investigations against both the US military and its allies, in particular, Israel.
At the same time, Pompeo noted the highly politicized nature of the activities of the International criminal court.
The head of the Ministry of justice, William Barr, pointed out that the United States has long questioned the integrity of the work carried out by the International criminal court. He also noted the role of Russia in the court’s activities.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump signed a decree imposing sanctions against some individuals involved in the ongoing International criminal court investigation into whether war crimes committed by the US military took place in Afghanistan.
As explained in the White House, Trump’s decree provides for economic sanctions against ICC employees “directly involved in any efforts to conduct investigations and trials against American military personnel without the consent of the United States.” It also provides for the extension of visa restrictions for court employees and their relatives.
“The United States is not a state party to the Rome Statute and has repeatedly rejected the claims of the International criminal court to extend its jurisdiction to American military personnel,” the White House said in a statement. – The actions of the International criminal court violate the rights of the American people and threaten to violate our national sovereignty. The international criminal court was created to ensure accountability for war crimes. Still, in practice, it is an unaccountable and ineffective international bureaucracy that poses a threat to our military, as well as to the forces of our allies and partners.”
“Despite repeated calls from the United States and our allies for reform, the international criminal court has not taken any action to reform and continues to conduct politically motivated investigations against us and our allies, including Israel,” the statement said. – We are concerned that the opposing states are manipulating the International criminal court by encouraging these charges against American military personnel. Also, we have good reason to believe that there are corruption and misconduct at the highest levels of the office of the Prosecutor of the International criminal court, which calls into question the integrity of its investigation of US military personnel.”
“As 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 unfair prosecution by the International criminal court,” the White House said.
Without going into details, a senior administration official said that an organization of questionable integrity is pushing the investigation, and pointed to the role played by Russia in this process.
The Executive order signed by the President gives Secretary of state Mike Pompeo the authority to block (after consulting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) the US-based property of International criminal court employees involved in the investigation.
It is also reported that the decree authorizes Secretary of state Pompeo to block the entry of these individuals to the United States.