Jun 19 2024

Graham, Cornyn, Tillis, Blackburn, Hawley, Britt, Risch, Collins, and Thune Press DOJ for Position on ICC Action Against Israel

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Katie Britt (R-Alabama), James Risch (R-Idaho), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and John Thune (R-South Dakota) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the U.S. Department of Justice’s position on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) action against the State of Israel.  

The Senators pointed out that the ICC has targeted Israel but failed to take action against several rogue nation states that routinely commit horrific violations of international law, including China, Iran, and North Korea.

“This action is especially troublesome considering the bipartisan conversation held between members of the Senate and Prosecutor Khan last month in which Khan assured senators that a complete and thorough investigation would be conducted before any action was taken. These assurances were untrue, and the decision to proceed so recklessly and rapidly cannot be justified in light of the ICC’s other investigations—such as the one into crimes against humanity in Venezuela—that have been under investigation for years. There are also several rogue nation states that routinely and brazenly commit horrific violations of international law, including China, Iran, and North Korea, which the ICC has summarily ignored.”

They also noted that this action violates a core tenant of the Court’s founding statute.

The Senators wrote, “The ICC’s conduct clearly violates the principle of complementarity. In its preamble, the Rome Statute states that the ICC shall be ‘complementary to national criminal jurisdictions.’ The ICC acknowledges this commitment in its description of its own jurisdiction: ‘The ICC is intended to complement, not to replace, national criminal systems; it prosecutes cases only when States are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.’ Complementarity is not simply an idealistic aspiration in the Rome Statute.  Rather, it is one of the cornerstone principles.

They concluded, “Considering the Department of Justice’s role in protecting freedom and liberty, it is paramount that Congress understand the Department’s position regarding the ICC’s actions. In furtherance of that goal, we request answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you agree that Prosecutor Khan has not adequately considered the principle of complementarity in his request for warrants against Israeli leaders? If the principle of complementarity has been violated, is the ICC acting unlawfully?
  2. Do you believe that the ICC is in violation of the Rome Statute with their recent recognition of a Palestinian state as a sovereign entity?
  3. Do you have concerns that the ICC’s breach of precedent will be used to target U.S. servicemembers in the future?”

To read the full letter, click HERE.