Via America’s Lawyer: A story filled with anonymous sources from the Atlantic has made some pretty salacious claims about Donald Trump. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins to discuss more. Then, Mike Pompeo announces sanctions against an International Criminal Court prosecutor who was investigating war crimes in Afghanistan. Mike Papantonio is joined by RT correspondent Brigida Santos to explain more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A story filled with anonymous sources from the Atlantic has made some pretty salacious claims about Donald Trump. This is a continuation of what we’re talking about.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s a continuation because A, the Dems obviously are behind it. You know, they’re, they’re part of all this. The, the owner of the Atlantic, what gave $600,000 to Biden’s election, she gave $1.2 million to, to candidates just in the last few weeks. So the question, and I think, you know, Green, Glenn Greenwald to me is brilliant. I just can’t, every time the guy comes up with an angle, I go, you know, you’re right on. He runs the Intercept. His point was that this blows up in the face of the proponent, unless it works. And he’s saying really, it doesn’t look like it’s working. My point to you is why? Because Trump was already losing, he’s lower, he has lower numbers in the military than he’s ever had. Why would you go here? You see, knowing that they’re going to use it is a you see it’s just the media coming after me. It’s just Joe Biden jamming this whole thing up. What is your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  You know, a great poll came out for the military times last week, Donald Trump’s approval rating with service members was.

Mike Papantonio:             42%.

Farron Cousins:                  38%.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh, 38%.

Farron Cousins:                  38% that is remarkably low, especially for a Republican.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  So this story came out after that poll was released.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And I don’t know if it was supposed to be icing on the cake. And for the record, I’ll say, I do believe that Trump has said these things about fallen soldiers.

Mike Papantonio:             It wouldn’t be a surprise.

Farron Cousins:                  It falls the line with the way he is.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Farron Cousins:                  But, I saw a good analysis on it from, I think it was Joshua Holland who said, this is a character story about Trump. It’s not a policy story in either way. So what’s the point of risking anything on this story, because everybody already knows his character and even people who like him, don’t like the character.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So you gain nothing from it.

Mike Papantonio:             And it is a big risk.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. It is a big risk. And, and Greenwald’s point was, this is more MSNBC, CNN, pile on. Now he does such a great job following the story, the accusation made by Goldberg or what, Goldberg.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. So Goldberg makes the accusation, I can’t reveal my anonymous sources because I’m afraid they’re going to be terrorized on Twitter. Really? Okay. So I’m not going to do that, but there’s more stories coming and there’s a lot more sources, but Greenwald says, okay, let’s really analyze what just happened. Greenwald says there is a source, an anonymous source, and then the AP picks up on it and asked the question, who is it? MSNBC comes in and read, just re-invents that there’s a source. They don’t have any news source. CNN says they don’t have any news source, but they go with the story anyway. The problem is, this works for guy. It works for Trump. I don’t think he, I don’t think people are analyzing how bad, there was a poll a couple of weeks ago. Do we believe the media or do we believe Trump? They believe Trump.

Farron Cousins:                 Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             And so this just adds to it doesn’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and what we’ve seen right now, and this fight is taking place all over social media, you have the Trump supporters who will straight up say this isn’t real. This is a lie. And then it causes fights obviously with the non Trump supporters, they say, yes, it is. And so the whole thing has now devolved into this bickering online, distracting from real issues, like the response to COVID and things like that.

Mike Papantonio:             He wins in bickering.

Farron Cousins:                  He does, he does.

Mike Papantonio:             Trump wins in bickering, and Goldberg who thought he was going to do a good turn for the Democrats just hurt them again, just like, just like I’ve talked about before. This notion that CNN is going to win the election or MSNBC is going to win the election or this, this article by Goldberg is going to win the election. The Dems just don’t think it through. This is going to fall flat and he’s going to use every bit of it to, same way that he’s using the threat of violence in the United States.

The Trump administration has formally announced sanctions against several members of the international criminal court for investigating alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Brigida Santos joins me to talk about this. Brigida, it’s, it’s kind of a, it’s kind of a crazy stretch to say, look, somebody is investigating a war crime, and now we’re going to sanction that person for investigating war crimes. Which members of the court have been sanctioned and why is that happening? It just seems like a weird story. It seems like, it sounds to me like it’s something that actually is contrary to democracy. What’s your take?

Brigida Santos:                   Well, it is. Now the Trump administration has frozen the US based assets of the international criminal courts, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the head of jurisdiction, Phakiso Mochochoko, and also blocked US companies, people and banks from dealing with them. Now, these sanctions are not a surprise because president Trump did sign an executive order announcing them back in June, as for why, well, early in 2019 prosecutor Bensouda called for an investigation of American armed forces and members of the CIA citing information that they committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against conflict related detainees at CIA detention centers in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania in 2003 and 2004,.those allegations include abuse, rape, cruel treatment, sexual violence and torture. The US has basically been trying to squash that investigation ever since then.

Mike Papantonio:             So, so at this point, what they’ve done is they’ve, they’ve tried to, well, they’ve attached the assets of these people in the United States. They’ve told them that they can’t come to the United States and if they do, they’re going to be arrested. It just sounds like, you know, it sounds like let them investigate. Let’s see what’s real and what’s not real because at the end of the day, Trump has the authority to actually remove them. I mean, if somebody is arrested, whoever’s arrested, the US government can go in and take them out of detention, bring them back to the United States and there’s really no, there’s really no penalty. So it’s, it’s odd to begin with. What I’m wondering, is there any credibility to Mar to Mark, Mike Pompeo’s claim that the US doesn’t have to cooperate with this investigation?

Brigida Santos:                   Yeah. Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo says the US doesn’t have to cooperate because it’s not party to the Rome statute treaty that created the ICC. Now, technically he’s correct. The US does not have to cooperate, but the international criminal court is the only permanent autonomous war crimes court in the world. And any individual, including US citizens, can be brought before the court, as it investigates alleged crimes that took place in countries that are party to the Rome statute, which would make them subject to the court’s jurisdiction. And in this case, that includes Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, where the alleged crimes occurred. Now, the court can also investigate and where warranted, prosecute individuals for war crimes when countries are unwilling or unable to prosecute. And while Pompeo says the US has its own procedures in place to deal with service members who commit crimes, torture is illegal under American and international law. And yet no one other than former CIA analyst, John Kiriakou, has been prosecuted in connection with CIA torture. And to remind you, he was not in prison for torturing anyone, but for publicly confirming the agency’s use of waterboarding and other torture tactics.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. How is this going to impact the future of these kinds of inquiries? Isn’t that what we should be worried about? I mean, you know, it’s a two way street here, isn’t it?

Brigida Santos:                   Yeah. Well, the ICC is still moving forward with the investigation. Now it’s going to be hard to prosecute individuals when the US has so many countries around the world that it can pressure into not cooperating with ICC extradition requests that would bring individuals from the United States to the Hague based court for legal proceedings, because the Hague is not going to be able to come into America and extradite people. They’re going to have to wait for the alleged perpetrators to potentially leave the country, go to a third party country and have that country then extradite them. But the ICC was created in the model of the Nuremberg trials, which also were very difficult, yet not impossible. So we’ll have to see what happens here.

Mike Papantonio:             Brigida Santos, thank you for joining me.

Brigida Santos:                   Thanks.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.