The Pentagon is blocking the Biden administration from sharing evidence with the International Criminal Court in The Hague gathered by American intelligence agencies about Russian atrocities in Ukraine, according to current and former officials briefed on the matter.
American military leaders oppose helping the court investigate Russians because they fear setting a precedent that might help pave the way for it to prosecute Americans. The rest of the administration, including intelligence agencies and the State and Justice Departments, favors sharing the evidence with the court, the officials said.
President Biden has yet to resolve the impasse, officials said.
The evidence is said to include details relevant to an investigation the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, began after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago. The information reportedly includes material about decisions by Russian officials to deliberately target civilian infrastructure and to abduct thousands of Ukrainian children from occupied territory.
In December, Congress modified longstanding legal restrictions on American help to the court, allowing the United States to assist with its investigations and eventual prosecutions related to the war in Ukraine. But inside the Biden administration, a policy dispute over whether to do so continues to play out behind closed doors. [Continue reading…]