Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said he may not testify against his former boss because he's scared of the blowback from the former president's loyalists.
The New York State court system has increased its security after a ruling found this week that Mr Trump and his adult sons are liable for civil fraud.
"Let me tell you something, I think it's incumbent now upon government — I listen again to a lot of pundits on the various different stations talking about how they have to do something to curb Donald Trump's language," Cohen said. "What, are we going to wait until something, God forbid, happens, and then everyone is going to say thoughts and prayers to the family?"
Cohen added that Mr Trump should "not be permitted to do what he's doing."
"He's threatening judges. He's threatening prosecutors. He's threatening witnesses. This is all obstruction of justice and witness tampering. And if they don't do something about it, I have a strong suspicion a lot of people may not end up showing up to testify."
Mr Trump has called Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis a "phony," a "young racist," and insisted she "wants desperately to indict me on ridiculous grounds."
He has complained that "there is no way I can get a fair trial" under US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case involving his attempts to illegally overturn the 2020 US presidential election.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is pursuing a civil suit against Mr Trump, reported that she has already received death threats from MAGA supporters, as has Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The former president has warned of "potential death and destruction" if he is charged and vowed "IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I'M COMING AFTER YOU" on his Truth Social platform.
While Mr Trump has not made direct threats himself, individuals like Cohen are worried that his rhetoric will inspire his followers to take his rhetoric as a greenlight to take violent action in his defence.
Cohen counted himself among those who may choose to keep quiet if Mr Trump's rhetoric isn't kept under control.
"Listen, I'm considering it myself despite the fact I'm under subpoena," he said. "I don't have to put my life on the line simply because Donald Trump cannot control himself. And the courts are not controlling him."
MSNBC host Joy Reid, who was interviewing Cohen, said that "witnesses don't have security," and that they are "on their own" if they can't afford to hire private guards.
Mr Cohen said that "nobody should be required to pay for personal security because the government needs you" to "prove their case," and added that he intends to testify.
"I said it to, God rest his soul, Representative Elijah Cummings. I said to him that I will do what I need to do in order to ensure that Donald Trump is held accountable," he said. "And I have done that. I have honored my pledge to this great man. Unfortunately I also don't want — I don't want to meet my maker just yet."
He went on to say that "too many MAGA supporters" are like Mr Trump and don't "understand reality from fantasy."
"We don't live in Disneyland. We live in reality," he said. "And his numbers are Disneyland and so is his behavior. It's just not normal."
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