Federal judges find retirement offers easy way out of probes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The fastest way for federal judges facing investigation by their peers to make the inquiry go away is to utter two words: "I quit."

That's how appellate judges Maryanne Trump Barry and Alex Kozinski ended investigations into complaints that Barry participated in fraudulent tax schemes and Kozinski sexually harassed women. Barry is the older sister of President Donald Trump.

And because they're older than 65, and with more than 15 years as federal judges, Barry and Kozinski can collect their annual salary of roughly $220,000 for life.

Panels of judges across the country have concluded that they lack authority to investigate a judge who has left the bench. Similar reasoning led judges to dismiss complaints against then-appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh stemming from his Supreme Court confirmation hearing last year.

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