All in the family
Maryanne Trump Barry, President Trump's older sister, has resigned as a federal appellate judge, ending a judicial investigation into apparently fraudulent tax schemes that could have theoretically led to her impeachment by the U.S. House, The New York Times reports. Judge Barry, 82, stopped hearing cases after her brother was inaugurated, but she was still a senior inactive judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one step short of retirement.
Barry, a federal judge since 1983, had been notified Feb. 1 that complaints filed last October about possible violations of judicial conduct rules were "receiving the full attention" of a judicial conduct council, the Times reports. She filed her resignation papers 10 days later. Retired judges are not bound by the conduct rules, and the people who filed the complains were notified last week that the inquiry had been dropped without a finding on the allegations' merits, the Times reports.
The complaints against Barry stemmed from reporting in the Times on how the president and his siblings earned millions from potentially illegal tax shelters and other schemes set up by Fred Trump, their father. Barry's partial ownership of a shell company, All County Building Supply & Maintenance, earned her millions, according to financial disclosure forms — that money came from reduced-tax income from inflated invoices and artificially inflated rents, the Times found. Barry also benefited from grossly undervalued assets she and her siblings acquired from Fred Trump through a trust, as the Times explained in this video.
Barry "not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes," the Times reports, but "she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family." When she and her siblings sold off Fred Trump's real estate empire from 2004 to 2006, Barry's share was $182.5 million, the Times found. Barry did not respond to requests for comment from the Times, which notes that as a retired judge, she is entitled to between $184,500 and $217,600 a year.