Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump's sister, dies at 86

by 24USATVNov. 14, 2023, 5 a.m. 22

Maryanne Trump Barry, former President Donald Trump's older sister and a retired federal judge, has died, two sources said.

Barry was a federal appellate judge in Philadelphia and retired in 2019, ending a civil misconduct inquiry that was launched after reporting by The New York Times alleged the then-president and his siblings evaded inheritance taxes.

After her brother won the 2016 presidential election, Barry gave up her court staff and took inactive status in early 2017, The Associated Press reported.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Barry, a Republican, to the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in 1983. In 1999, she was appointed to the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia by President Bill Clinton.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barry came under scrutiny after a 2018 New York Times report alleged that Trump family patriarch Fred Trump and his children orchestrated a tax scheme to inflate the family fortune and possibly evade taxes.

Barry was a senior judge on the 3rd Circuit court when the report was published but had stopped actively hearing cases.

Fred Trump “often” consulted with Barry on legal matters during her time as a federal judge, the Times reported. Barry was also reportedly present at meetings at Trump Tower in 2003 “for one of their periodic updates on their inherited empire” with the siblings and then-Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. (Weisselberg and the company were charged with tax fraud in 2021 by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He pleaded guilty, and the company was convicted at trial.)

According to the Times, citing records and interviews, Donald Trump and his siblings “set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents,” and properties were transferred to him and his siblings using questionable tax planning. Although the Times did not explicitly list which of the siblings were involved with the “sham corporation,” the report suggests all Trump siblings, including Barry, had at least benefited from the scheme.

After the Times report was published, a judicial panel launched a civil misconduct inquiry into Barry in response to four citizen complaints. Barry’s voluntary retirement in April 2019 ended the review that was prompted by claims based on the Times report.

Barry also drew attention when The Washington Post reported in 2020 on a secretly recorded audio of her criticizing her brother as a liar with “no principles.” The audio, which NBC News also obtained, was secretly recorded by Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, a vocal critic of him. Mary Trump recorded more than 15 hours of discussion between her and Barry in 2018 and 2019 and released parts of the records to corroborate her 2020 book about the Trump family, "Too Much and Never Enough."

Trump allies swiftly came to his defense after the audio was released.

The former president’s younger brother, Robert Trump, died in 2020. His funeral was held at the White House.

Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s first wife and the mother of his three oldest children, died last year at age 73.


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