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White House threatens sanctions on the International Criminal Court if it investigates alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan

The White House will issue sanctions against the International Criminal Court, National Security Adviser John Bolton will announce in a speech Monday, if the court proceeds with a proposed investigation of alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan.

"The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton plans to say, per an advance copy of his remarks obtained by Reuters. "We will not cooperate with the ICC," the speech continues. "We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

Should the ICC move forward with its probe, the Trump administration may place a travel ban on ICC judges and prosecutors, sanction any funds they have in U.S. financial institutions, or even try to prosecute them in American courts. The White House may also seek agreements from other nations to prohibit their surrendering any American citizens for prosecution.

The ICC was created in 2002 to prosecute offenses like genocide and war crimes. The U.S. did not ratify its establishing treaty. The ICC prosecutor proposing this investigation has found evidence that "U.S. armed forces and CIA personnel subjected individuals being interrogated for information to the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, and outrages on personal dignity," including "some instances of rape by CIA personnel."