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Maryland Sen. Madaleno says he's not prime source for article on Kavanaugh yearbook

State Sen. Richard Madaleno, pictured Jan. 12, 2018, in a Senate Budget and Taxation Committee meeting at the Maryland General Assembly, is a Georgetown Prep class of 1983 classmate of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
State Sen. Richard Madaleno, pictured Jan. 12, 2018, in a Senate Budget and Taxation Committee meeting at the Maryland General Assembly, is a Georgetown Prep class of 1983 classmate of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Maryland Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. is a former classmate of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

And Madaleno grants an online conservative publication’s description of him as an “anti-Trump politician,” though he objects to its use of the adjective “rabidly” as pejorative.

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But the Montgomery County Democrat said The Federalist is mistaken in suggesting he was a prime source for a New York Times story about the contents of the 1983 yearbook at their elite private boys’ school in North Bethesda.

Madaleno, a defeated candidate in the June 26 Democratic primary for governor, said he did speak with the Times about Kavanaugh. However, he said he had little to offer, except the fact that Georgetown Prep students were permitted to write their own biographical blurbs for the yearbook.

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Gov. Larry Hogan has ruled out involving the Maryland State Police in any investigation of allegations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl more than 30 years ago in Montgomery County. State Sen. Cheryl Kagan urged the governor in a letter to act.

The Federalist inferred Madaleno was a key source for the Times piece from a reference to a “Mr. Madaleno” that the Federalist said was “quickly scrubbed” from the article after the Times posted it Monday night.

The Federalist article focused on what it charged were flaws in the Times coverage, saying it “hid multiple problems with its claims” about the meaning of the yearbook entries for Kavanaugh and some of his classmates. One of the things The Federalist questioned was why the article was “sourced to” Madaleno.

Madaleno said the Times and The Washington Post both contacted him as a Kavanaugh classmate and he talked with both on the record.

He said he had little to offer besides the nugget about students writing their own yearbook blurbs.

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Madaleno and reporter Kate Kelly, co-writer of the Times story, say he was not the original source for the story and that he had no information about its central allegation — that Kavanaugh had included a reference in his yearbook that some classmates interpreted as bragging about sexual relations with a certain girl.

The Times’ reference to a “Mr. Madaleno” appears to have been an editing error. According to Kelly, the Times interviewed Madaleno and planned to use his quote, then removed his comments as redundant. She said the Times missed the “stray reference” to Madaleno when cutting the story.

Madaleno said that while he and Kavanaugh were in the same class, they did not move in the same social circles.

“He was on the football team. I was on the debate team,” Madaleno said. “We were in such a different clique.”

Madaleno said that while he opposes Kavanaugh’s confirmation, he knows nothing about allegations of sexual assault leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford in connection with a teenage party in the early 1980s.

Mollie Hemingway, the writer of the article in the Federalist, did not speak with him, Madaleno said. He said he learned of her article when he received a call from The Baltimore Sun.

Hemingway did not return messages from the Sun seeking comment.

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