Under Pressure From Tax Probe, Trump's Older Sister Steps Down From Judgeship

Under Pressure From Tax Probe, Trump's Older Sister Steps Down From Judgeship

We don't hear about her much, but President Donald Trump's older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a notable figure in her own right. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

According to the New York Times, the court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed in October, after an investigation by the daily found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s to maximize the inherited wealth of the President, Barry and their siblings.

Scott Shuchart, a former lawyer at the Department of Homeland Security who filed one of the complaints, told the Times that he found it "galling" that Barry would receive a pension despite the misconduct allegations "just because she changed from one form of retired status to another". It said the properties were later sold over the next decade for over 16 times that amount.

The New York Times also had reported that Fred Trump's properties were undervalued, which lowered taxes when the siblings gained control of the buildings through a trust.

The retirement of Maryanne Trump Barry was revealed in an April 1 order signed by a top court official in NY, where the misconduct case was assigned to prevent conflicts of interest for judges who knew Barry. The order ending the probe, dated April 1, which doesn't name Barry, cites allegations that she might have committed misconduct "relating to tax and financial transactions".

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The story had reported that the statute of limitations likely would foreclose any criminal prosecution, but there is no time limit on civil fines for tax fraud. That should be an impeachable offense. Rather than pay more than $550 million, the Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million in taxes, or roughly a 5 percent rate, according to the Times.

"I think it's appalling that we're continuing to pay this criminal and that she now has completely avoided effect", Shuchart added.

The Times investigation into the Trumps uncovered how Fred Trump transferred his real estate empire profits and ownership to his four children, including the president, Barry, brother Robert Trump, and their sister Elizabeth Trump Grau.

Trump has called the Times expose a false "hit piece". She's been a federal judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where she was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

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