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  /  Politic   /  George Clooney called White House to complain about Biden’s criticism of ICC and defend wife’s work: report

George Clooney called White House to complain about Biden’s criticism of ICC and defend wife’s work: report

Actor George Clooney reportedly called one of President’s Biden’s top aides last month to complain about the president’s critique of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a case his wife, lawyer Amal Clooney, worked on. 

As first reported by The Washington Post, the Academy Award-winning actor called Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president, to push back on Biden’s dismissal of arrest warrants sought by the ICC targeting Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. 

Clooney was particularly irked the Biden administration was initially open to slapping the ICC with sanctions, given his wife could be potentially subjected to penalties, according to the report.  

The report comes more than a week before Clooney, a major supporter of Biden, is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Biden’s re-election campaign June 15 in Los Angeles. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and representatives for Clooney seeking comment. 

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced May 20 he was seeking to charge Netanyahu, Gallant, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and two other top Hamas leaders with war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Khan consulted a panel of top legal experts, including human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, before seeking warrants. 

Biden condemned the ICC’s decision to pursue arrest warrants as ‘outrageous.’ 

‘And let me be clear: Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas,’ Biden said. ‘We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.’

Earlier this week, 42 House Democrats voted with Republicans on a bill to sanction the ICC. Senate Republicans are pushing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.  

Khan has warned that attempts to interfere with the ICC’s work would be an offense under its founding treaty, the Rome Statute. However, the warning may not carry much weight because world powers, including the U.S., Israel, China and Russia, aren’t members of the court and don’t recognize its jurisdiction.

Israeli leaders fiercely deny they have committed crimes, saying they are defending their nation and abiding by international law. Because Israel doesn’t recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction, even if judges were to issue warrants, there is no immediate prospect of Netanyahu and Gallant being arrested anytime soon.

A decision on whether to issue warrants is expected to take several weeks. The legal bar for approving warrants is relatively low. Judges need to find ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that crimes outlined in Khan’s request were committed. In the past, judges have generally approved such requests.

The latest Gaza war began Oct. 7, when Hamas-led militants crossed into Israel and killed nearly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 hostages. 

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, which does not distinguish between Hamas fighters and civilians, alleges Israel’s military has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians since October.  

Israel has disputed these figures and accused Hamas of operating in heavily populated civilian areas. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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