Dianne Feinstein Reportedly Asked To Step Down Due To Cognitive Decline, But Kept Forgetting The Conversations

Sen. Chuck Schumer reportedly had to speak with 87-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein about stepping down from her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee due to her “cognitive decline” — but then had to repeat the conversation several times because she kept forgetting that they had spoken about it.

The New Yorker reported this week that Feinstein’s age and declining cognitive abilities have caused some concern among her colleagues. As the report noted, the Senate minority leader spoke with Feinstein about stepping down on her own terms in order to protect her dignity and her esteemed reputation, but it still took her by surprise.

“She wasn’t really all that aware of the extent to which she’d been compromised,” an unnamed source told the outlet. “It was hurtful and distressing to have it pointed out.”

But the hurt came back again when Feinstein allegedly forgot about the conversations with Schumer, forcing the New York senator to tell her again that she should no longer lead Democrats on the top committee.

“It was like [the film] Groundhog Day, but with the pain fresh each time,” the source said.

Schumer and Feinstein had often worked together closely, but the top Democrat was reportedly pressed into acting after a number of people close to his California colleague raised concerns about her memory. Some close to Feinstein said that her short-term memory has deteriorated to the point that she would forget that she had been briefed on a topic, and then grow angry at staffers, who she accused of not preparing her.

Feinstein had already come under fire from many on the left for her performance during the confirmation hearings for now Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. As the Los Angeles Times reported, many criticized her for failing to push back on the controversial nomination, which came after Senate Republicans had blocked Barack Obama from filling an open seat in 2016, saying a vacancy should not be filled so close to an election. Barrett’s process was also expedited so it could be completed before the election, coming over the objection of many Democrats.

After the process ended with Barrett being confirmed, Feinstein was criticized for hugging Sen. Lindsey Graham. He had been a top target of criticism from several Democrats after he said in 2016 that he would keep to the same standard — not pushing through a nominee even if Trump were the president.

Feinstein was also slammed for praising the process after it came to an end.

“This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in,” she said.

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