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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

McCain advisor a Georgia lobbyist

August 14, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

John McCain's chief foreign policy advisor and the advisor's business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2 -year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The payments raise questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate, who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks "the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world."

On April 17, about six weeks after Scheunemann stopped working for Georgia, his partner signed a $200,000 agreement with the Georgian government. The deal added to an arrangement that brought in more than $800,000 to the two-man firm from 2004 to mid-2007. For the duration of the campaign, Scheunemann is taking a leave of absence.

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