WASHINGTON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday authorized sanctions against International Criminal Court (ICC) officials engaged in an investigation into possible war crimes by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
"The President has authorized economic sanctions against International Criminal Court officials directly engaged with any effort to investigate or prosecute United States personnel without the consent of the United States," the White House said in a statement.
Trump also authorized the expansion of visa restrictions against ICC officials and their family members.
The statement criticized the ICC as an "unaccountable and ineffective international bureaucracy" that pursues "politically-motivated" investigations against the United States and its allies.
Top officials of the Trump administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pentagon chief Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr, and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, attended a press briefing later in the day at the State Department to denounce the ICC as well as its efforts to probe U.S. actions in Afghanistan.
Officials said that the United States has not ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC and rejected the ICC's jurisdiction over U.S. persons.
The ICC in March authorized an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, including those that may have been committed by the U.S. military and the CIA, which could lead to the indictment of U.S. military and intelligence personnel.
The ICC was established when the Rome Statute took effect in 2002. It prosecutes crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.