Talk about an awkward Thanksgiving.
Courtesy of CNN:
President Donald Trump’s older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has kept a very low profile since he ran for office. But it appears as though she inadvertently had a central role in The New York Times blockbuster report on her brother’s alleged tax schemes.
According to the Times, one of their key findings was a financial disclosure form from Barry’s Senate confirmation proceedings in 1999 to be a federal appellate judge. This financial form was not redacted, and Times reporter Susanne Craig, one of the three reporters who broke the story, noticed an oddity in the filing — a $1 million contribution from a Trump family-owned company called All County Building Supply & Maintenance.
Craig, along with reporters David Barstow and Russ Buettner, began to investigate the company. People familiar with family patriarch Fred Trump told them that All County was a “middleman entity created by President Trump and his siblings essentially to move cash from Fred Trump’s companies to his children,” the Times said.
After the company purchased items for Trump buildings such as cleaning supplies, the Times notes that a secretary would bill these “items to Fred Trump’s buildings with a 20% to 50% markup,” and the siblings would “pocket the difference.” The siblings received millions in untaxed gifts from their father, skirting a 55% tax on gifts over a certain value that would have cut the total significantly, the Times reported.
That revelation, of course, led to the New York Times story which revealed that Trump owes virtually all of his success to his father’s handouts and that the family used complicated tax schemes to defraud the government.
That makes Trump look like a fraud, but it may look even worse for his sister:
Barry, along with President Trump and their younger brother, Robert, were the executors of their father’s estate, and in that capacity filed his tax returns 15 months after his death in 1999, the Times notes.
The judge’s involvement in the practices outlined in the Times story is unclear. However, as one of the executors of her late father’s estate, she and her brothers were responsible for verifying the accuracy of his estate tax return, which the Times notes “vividly illustrates the effectiveness of the tax strategies devised by the Trumps in the early 1990s.”
As the Times points out the statue of limitations has long since past for any criminal liability, but there could still be civil suits filed by the state of New York that could cost the family many millions, and devastate their reputations.
I swear this Trump presidency may the worst idea anybody ever had.