Some colleagues of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are concerned she's no longer fit to serve in Congress, according to a new report.
Four senators, a California Democratic member of Congress, and three former staffers of Feinstein told the San Francisco Chronicle that "her memory is rapidly deteriorating."
According to the report, Feinstein, 88, at times "does not seem to fully recognize even longtime colleagues," and one lawmaker described an instance in which they had a conversation with her in which they had to repeatedly reintroduce themselves and she raised the same questions multiple times, apparently unaware they had previously discussed them.
"It's bad, and it's getting worse," an anonymous Democratic senator said.
This follows a similar report from The New Yorker in 2020, which said Feinstein's "short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic." That report also said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) "wanted her to step aside on her own terms." Her term ends after 2024.
But some lawmakers defended Feinstein, whose husband recently died, to the San Francisco Chronicle. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it's "unconscionable that, just weeks after losing her beloved husband of more than four decades and after decades of outstanding leadership to our city and state, she is being subjected to these ridiculous attacks that are beneath the dignity in which she has led and the esteem in which she is held."
Feinstein told the San Francisco Chronicle that while the last year "has been extremely painful and distracting for me," there's "no question I'm still serving and delivering for the people of California, and I'll put my record up against anyone's." But according to the report, at least one Democratic lawmaker has raised discussions with colleagues about how to persuade her to retire.