Sources close to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have come forward this week to claim that she is in a cognitive decline that has been “evident for several years.”
The sources told The New Yorker that Feinstein, 87, is “seriously struggling” and that her short-term memory “has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have.”
“The staff is in such a bad position,” a former Senate aide said. “They have to defend her and make her seem normal.”
This comes weeks after the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Big Tech in which Feinstein asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the same question twice, with him answering the same way both times.
Democrats began to question Feinstein’s mental state after the way she behaved during the Senate Confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett. Afterwards, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke to Feinstein privately about stepping aside on her own terms. Feinstein was reportedly stunned by what Schumer was saying.
“She wasn’t really all that aware of the extent to which she’d been compromised,” said a Senate source. “It was hurtful and distressing to have it pointed out.”
Unfortunately, Feinstein’s short term memory appears to be so bad that she seemingly forgot the conversation with Schumer, so he had to do it again.
“‘It was like Groundhog Day, but with the pain fresh each time,” the source said.
Schumer was reportedly so worried about the Feinstein situation that he placed a trusted aide on the Judiciary Committee staff, just to keep an eye on her.
However, a former aide of Feinstein’s was quick to defend her, saying that even if her faculties are diminished, “she’s still smarter and quicker than at least a third of the other members.”
Feinstein announced last month that she would step down as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, but she will still be a member of the panel going forward.