The United States will not in any way cooperate with the International Criminal Court, national security adviser John Bolton announced at a Federalist Society event on Monday, blasting the ICC as an unaccountable, bureaucratic body that runs counter to the U.S. Constitution and is "antithetical to our nation's ideals."
In Bolton's first speech as national security adviser, Bolton made the case that the ICC's authority is invalid, subverts American sovereignty, and concentrates power in the hands of an unchecked authority in a way that is "antithetical to our nation's ideals."
"We will not cooperate with the ICC," Bolton said. "We will provide no assistance to the ICC. And we certainly 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."
Bolton's speech comes after the ICC in November 2017 the ICC prosecutor asked to investigate crimes allegedly committed by members of the U.S. military who served in Afghanistan. Bolton called the claims untrue and unjustified.
"In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses," Bolton said. "In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous. Moreover, the largely unspoken, but always central, aim of its most vigorous supporters was to constrain the United States."
Bolton's speech comes as the Trump administration is shuttering the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, a controversial move. That development comes after the White House said over the weekend it was cutting $25 million in funding for health services in the heavily Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Ahead of Bolton's speech, a protester holding a pink "Iran wants Peace" sign and shouting Bolton is a "war hawk" was forcibly removed from the stage by security.
The Federalist Society is a conservative legal group that has supported the nomination and confirmation process of both Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Bolton has spoken to the group on foreign policy in years past.