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- Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to the Senate this week, defying calls for her resignation.
- As her health declined, her staff began to follow her wherever she goes in the Capitol, per Rolling Stone.
- “They will not let her leave by herself, but she doesn’t even know it,” a former staffer said.
Dianne Feinstein’s office makes sure a staff member constantly follows the senator around the Capitol out of concern for what she might say to reporters amid her declining health and old age, multiple sources told Rolling Stone.
Feinstein returned to the Senate on Wednesday after spending nearly three months away from Washington due to a shingles infection. But her mental acuity has also faced scrutiny in recent years with reports revealing how the 89-year-old senator would at times forget conversations and struggle with her short-term memory.
Shortly before her hospitalization in March, Insider reported how Feinstein seemed confused about how she voted on the Senate floor.
For the past few years, Feinstein’s staff felt it necessary to ensure the senator is never alone when she walks around the Capitol, sources told Rolling Stone.
Jamarcus Purley, a former staff member fired last February for work performance issues, told the magazine that Feinstein’s office developed the system without her knowing.
“They will not let her leave by herself, but she doesn’t even know it,” Purley said.
Fellow Democratic colleagues, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have recently called for the longtime senator’s immediate resignation. Feinstein has since defied those calls but previously said she would retire at the end of 2024.
The California Democrat is the longest-serving woman in the US Senate — a milestone she reached after being in her seat for more than 30 years. Beyond California, Feinstein has made an indelible mark in American politics, leading the effort on an assault-style weapons ban and the investigation of the CIA’s detention program.
Feinstein’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.