Former Flower Hill mayor discussed in book by Trump niece

John Walter, right, former mayor of Flower Hill, with then-State Sen. Elaine Phillips in 2016. A new book by Walter's cousin Mary L. Trump says that their aunt Maryanne Trump Barry suspected Walter of working with reporters from the New York Times, when the true source was Mary herself. (Photo by Stephen Romano)

John Walter, the late mayor of Flower Hill, is among the people mentioned in his cousin Mary L. Trump’s book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

Walter, the son of Fred Trump Sr.’s sister Elizabeth Trump Walter and first cousin to sitting President Donald Trump, lived in Flower Hill’s Manhasset area for most of his life and served as mayor of the village from 1988 to 1996. He died in January of 2018.

Mary Trump, a psychologist, daughter of Fred Trump Jr. and granddaughter of Fred Trump Sr., had served as a crucial yet anonymous source for a New York Times story published months after Walter’s death that claimed he allegedly assisted the president, his siblings, and his father in a scheme to inherit Fred’s millions of dollars in real estate without being subject to a 55 percent inheritance tax.

In the months after the story was published, Mary Trump says in the book that her aunt, former federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, had told her that she suspected Walter of divulging the information about the alleged tax evasion to the New York Times prior to his death.

“In the interim, [Maryanne] had transferred her suspicion…to her first cousin John Walter…who had died that January,” Trump wrote. “John had worked for and with my grandfather for decades, had benefited enormously from his uncle’s wealth, had been heavily involved in All County, and, as far as I knew, had always been very loyal.”

Trump goes on to write that she “thought it strange [Maryanne] would implicate [Walter],” though her suspicions of him worked in Trump’s own favor.

The Times said that the elder Trump worked with Walter to set up All County Building Supply & Maintenance in 1992, ostensibly to pay for maintenance crews and equipment for the properties owned by the Trump organization around New York City, but in reality allowing Fred Trump to give his children large cash gifts disguised as legitimate business transactions, thus evading the estate tax.

The address listed for All County was that of Walter’s home at 511 Manhasset Woods Road in Manhasset. For his work generating the invoices, Walter received a cut of the markup and owned 20 percent of All County, which was split between him and the four Trump children, according to the Times report.

An investigation into the claims closed in 2019, as Maryanne Trump Barry resigned from her post as the senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and did not reach a conclusion on the claims.

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Rose Weldon

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