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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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. 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.

And she just did something very suspicious.

At 82, she’s been an inactive senior judge on the court not hearing cases, according to a New York Times report Wednesday night. But she just stepped down from her position, officially retiring.

The reason? It’s not certain, but it appears to be prompted by the Times’ previous investigative story that “the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings.”

The report noted: “Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.”

As a result of the Times’ revelations about the Trump family taxes, the court opened an investigation into her potential misconduct. (The Times has noted that, while it found the Trumps broke the law, the crimes have likely passed the statute of limitations for any criminal charges.)

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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