Bolton to label International Criminal Court ‘illegitimate’: report

White House national security adviser John Bolton on Monday will reportedly label the International Criminal Court (ICC) "illegitimate" in an effort to push back on its plan to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan.

Bolton is poised to make the announcement during remarks to the conservative group the Federalist Society, according to a draft of his speech obtained by Reuters


“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 is expected to say, according to the speech draft.

Bolton will threaten to sanction ICC judges if the proposal goes forward, the news service added. 

“We will not cooperate with the ICC," Bolton will say. "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." 

The intergovernmental organization is tasked with prosecuting perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Bolton will also announce the State Department's plan to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, D.C.  

“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” Bolton is expected to say, according to a draft of his speech reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The PLO has called on the ICC to open an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes, which Bolton will denounce, according to Reuters.

“We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to U.S. threats and bullying,” Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.”

Read more from The Hill: 

Bolton threatens sanctions against International Criminal Court