McCain adviser got money from Georgian gov't.

August 13, 2008 4:24:30 PM PDT
John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser appears closely tied to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Randy Scheunemann and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a three-and-a-half-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Georgian government.

The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of 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.

In April, a month and a-half 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 from the firm. A McCain campaign spokeswoman says the senator has full confidence in Scheunemann.