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Lawmaker-turned-Saudi lobbyist raises eyebrows with campaign donations

Former Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., donated $1,000 to a key lawmaker the same day he lobbied his office on behalf of the Saudis — a common practice in Washington.
U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) (L) and Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA) (R), chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) (C), hold a news conference to talk about progress between the two chambers on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - GM1E9CA0IUV01

Many lobbyists ditched Saudi Arabia after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, but several clients are still sticking with their lucrative patron. And at least one of those lobbyists met with a key Senate staffer at a lawmaker's birthday party the same day his firm donated to the lawmaker’s campaign.

Lobbying disclosure and Federal Election Commission forms reviewed by Al-Monitor reveal that former Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., donated $1,000 in unused campaign funds to the campaign for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla. — the same day a McKeon associate met an Inhofe staffer on behalf of the Saudis. The Saudis paid McKeon $450,000 three days after Khashoggi’s death, according to lobbying disclosures for the six months through Nov. 30.

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