Republicans Catch Pentagon Withholding Evidence

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was joined by Democrats in criticizing the Department of Defense for what they described as the U.S. blocking investigations into global war crimes committed in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham stated that the Pentagon was not willing to provide U.S. intelligence to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to aid in their investigation of Russian war crimes. The ICC previously issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his remarks, Graham complimented the Department of Justice for their cooperation, but claimed that the Department of Defense had been “terrible.”

He added that the Department of Defense was withholding information that could potentially be detrimental in enabling the “ICC to be more aggressive in prosecutions.” Last December, the Senate voted to allow the government to provide information regarding the war to the ICC. The U.S. is one of the few countries that does not participate in the court, in part because of concerns about the possibility of Americans being prosecuted for war crimes.

Last month, the New York Times reported that regardless of the Senate’s approval, military leaders continued to oppose the idea of sharing intelligence with the ICC.

Graham however claimed that the laws that have passed through the Senate needed to be “honored” and that if the Department of Defense had concerns, they “can share them with me.” He proceeded to argue that the law was also on their side.