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Trump’s sister retires as federal judge in Philadelphia amid reported probe of family finances

Maryanne Trump Barry had been a federal appeals court judge in Philadelphia since 1999.

Federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sister of President Donald Trump, sits in the balcony during a 2016 rally in New York.
Federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sister of President Donald Trump, sits in the balcony during a 2016 rally in New York.Read moreJulie Jacobson / AP Photo / Julie Jacobson / AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s older sister has retired as a federal judge in Philadelphia, reportedly halting a judicial-conduct probe related to the Trump family’s finances.

The New York Times reported that the probe of Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who had been an inactive senior judge on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, began after four unidentified individuals filed complaints with the court based on a Times report that found the Trump family had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s. The reported schemes increased the inherited wealth of the president and his four siblings.

The Times said Barry, 82, did not respond to requests for comment made by email and telephone calls to her Manhattan apartment.

A spokesperson for the Third Circuit said Barry retired Feb. 11.

Barry was appointed to the federal bench in New Jersey by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and elevated to the circuit court in 1999 by President Bill Clinton.

Barry stopped hearing cases after her brother was inaugurated in 2017 but remained listed as an inactive senior judge, a step short of retirement.

The Times reported that a court official, in a letter dated Feb. 1, notified the complainants against Barry that the investigation was “receiving the full attention” of a judicial conduct council.

By retiring 10 days later, Barry made the probe moot. The Times said two of the complainants told the newspaper they were informed last week that the investigation had been dropped without a finding on the merits of the allegations.

The Times said its investigation found that Barry benefited financially from most of the questionable tax schemes and that she also was in a position to influence the actions taken by her family. A lawyer for President Trump has called the Times report "100 percent false, and highly defamatory.”

Federal judges are appointed for life. The Third Circuit spokesperson said that inactive senior judges, like Barry, continue to receive their salaries until they retire.

Barry will receive an annual pension, which the Times estimated would be between $184,500 and $217,600.