Trump approves sanctions against the International Criminal Court

The ICC has approved an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan by the U.S. military, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Taliban.

Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at targeting officials directly involved in the investigation.

“As part of President Donald J. Trump’s ongoing commitment to protecting U.S. service members and defending our national sovereignty, the president approved economic sanctions against International Criminal Court officials who were directly engaged in any effort to investigate or prosecute U.S. personnel without U.S. consent. “White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “The president has also approved the extension of visa restrictions against International Criminal Court officials and members of their families.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said economic sanctions would be determined on a case-by-case basis. He also said visa restrictions would cover family members of targeted officials.

“We are not happy about the punishment, but we cannot allow ICC officials and their families to come to the United States to shop, travel and otherwise enjoy American freedoms because these same officials want to persecute the defenders of those very freedoms.” Pompeo said Thursday at the State Department.

The United States is not a party to the criminal court, and the Trump administration has repeatedly warned the Hague institution. It has already taken steps to deter an investigation in Afghanistan, including revoking the chief prosecutor’s visa to enter last April.

CNN contacted the ICC for comment.

This is a groundbreaking story and will be updated.

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