FFor the upcoming criminal trial against Donald Trump in connection with hush money payments to a porn star, the court has restricted public statements by the former US president about witnesses, jurors and judicial employees. Trump's previous statements about other proceedings showed that there was a risk to the proper conduct of the trial, Judge Juan Merchan said on Tuesday.

Trump is therefore not allowed to publicly attack witnesses or foreseeable witnesses with regard to the proceedings, nor is he allowed to order such statements. The same applies to statements about future or possible jurors as well as court employees, lawyers and public prosecutors as well as their respective family members, as the judge's decree continued. An exception is the New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg, who is responsible for the case. In addition, Judge Merchan himself is not explicitly mentioned in the decree – which means that Trump is likely to continue his attacks against him. Merchan set the trial to begin on April 15 at a hearing on Monday. On Tuesday alone, Trump published two posts on the social network he co-founded, Truth Social, in which he harshly attacked Bragg and Merchan.

The public prosecutor's office had called for Trump's statements to be restricted at the end of February in order to protect those involved in the proceedings. “The defendant has a long-standing and perhaps unique history of using social media, speeches, rallies and other public statements to attack people he views as opponents,” the letter said. In other proceedings, too, Trump has already been banned from making statements about those involved in the trial and their relatives after public attacks.

The 77-year-old, who wants to be re-elected to the White House for the Republicans in November, is accused in the hush money proceedings of, among other things, falsifying business documents. The background to the case is that Trump had $130,000 in hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016, shortly before his election as president. She had claimed that she had had sex with him. Trump denies an affair, but does not deny that money was flowed. Non-disclosure agreements between two parties are not illegal. However, Trump is accused of illegally recording the payments, trying to conceal them illegally and thereby trying to cover up other violations of the law. Trump has pleaded not guilty.