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David Sherfinski

David Sherfinski

David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by David Sherfinski

Surrounded by reporters, former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams leaves federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., after testifying Thursday, July 31, 2014. During his testimony, Williams detailed a pattern of requests for gifts by former first lady Maureen McDonnell and a loan that former Gov. Bob McDonnell asked for. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dean Hoffmeyer)

Williams: First lady didn't discuss her relationship with husband

The prosecution's star witness in the corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife testified Friday that virtually all of his correspondence with the first lady dealt with business and that they never discussed her relationship with the governor. Published August 1, 2014

Jonnie Williams, left, former Star Scientific CEO, heads into the Federal courthouse for the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife in Richmond, Va., Thursday, July 31, 2014.  (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

Williams: Maureen McDonnell's high-dollar requests seemed excessive

The prosecution's key witness in the case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife testified Thursday that at times even he was taken aback by the scope and breadth of high-dollar items the first lady asked him to buy for the family. Published July 31, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, walks by reporters as he leaves the Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, July 29, 2014. McDonnell and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans, designer clothes, vacations and a Rolex watch from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

Trips, loans for McDonnell family detailed at trial

A longtime aide to businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. said Wednesday that she couldn't speak to reports of a borderline inappropriate relationship between her boss and former first lady Maureen McDonnell, but she provided details about a number of trips and events she helped plan for the McDonnell family on behalf of the wealthy businessman. Published July 30, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell leaves the federal courthouse in Richmond with his lawyer, John L. Brownlee. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alexa Welch Edlund)

Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes 'crush' defense

The prosecution's star witness in the public corruption case against former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife took the stand on Wednesday and quickly undercut the McDonnells' long-standing story that tens of thousands of dollars in gifts, loans, clothes and golf outings he provided them were motivated by friendship. Published July 30, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

Bob McDonnell's defense: Lonely wife developed 'crush' on CEO

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's marriage had broken and his wife developed a crush on a wealthy CEO who heaped expensive gifts and attention on her, defense attorneys said Tuesday in a startling opening to the couple's federal corruption trial. Published July 29, 2014

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

McDonnell trial to test definitions of political corruption

The defense of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has always hinged on several key arguments. For example, the more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. might have been unseemly — even worthy of an apology to the state — but it wasn't illegal. Published July 27, 2014

** FILE ** Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill, speaks during a "United we Dream" rally on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat who has certainly not been afraid to criticize members of his own party on the issue of immigration, said one needs only to look at the Senate to find Democrats who are positioning themselves on immigration with their own political hides in mind. Published July 25, 2014

** FILE ** R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (Associated Press)

CBP Commissioner: Border is 'more secure and more safe'

The new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection said the U.S.-Mexico border is "more secure and more safe," as the White House has touted a drop in the number of unaccompanied children arriving there in recent weeks. Published July 24, 2014

Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona Democrat. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Grijalva: Anti-trafficking law 'line in the sand for many of us'

Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, said keeping in place a 2008 law intended to curb trafficking of Central American children is enough for many congressional Democrats to hold the line on legislation dealing with the crisis of unaccompanied children streaming into the country at the southern border. Published July 24, 2014

**FILE** Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Inhofe: Illegal minors in Oklahoma 'at the invitation of the president'

Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, said President Obama shouldn't get any new funding to deal with the U.S.-Mexico border crisis until he reverses the policy of allowing certain illegal immigrant children to apply to defer their removal proceedings. Published July 24, 2014

U.S. astronaut Steven Swanson, a crew member of the mission to the International Space Station (ISS) gestures prior the launch of Soyuz-FG  rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool)

Astronauts: ‘We should get ourselves to Mars'

Chocolate pudding cake is one favorite outer space food; humans are likely to encounter life from another planet; astronauts are adept at recycling their own urine into drinking water. Published July 24, 2014