Revelations that a Chinese spy has compromised Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) have brought back reminders of the shocking story that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had an agent from the communist nation on her staff for 20 years. And now a new report states the 87-year-old Feinstein, who has been a force in Democrat politics for over 40 years, is showing signs of severe cognitive decline.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had to tell Feinstein twice that she should step down as ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee because she forgot their first conversation on the subject, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports.
Mayer details several other disturbing episodes of Feinstein’s feebleness as she clings to her Senate seat at her advanced age. There are many factors that make Feinstein’s condition an acute liability to the American people. A leading player in Congress’s national security work being personally tied to a Chinese mole are grave enough. But what happens when a long-tenured senator whose staff is known to have been infiltrated by a foreign power for decades becomes unable to carry out her congressional duties due to failing health? Aides undoubtedly exert far greater control in such a situation.
The question that should be paramount in Feinstein’s Red Spy-Dementia double debacle should be this: Who has been in control of this high-ranking Democratic Senate seat in recent years? Mayer’s description of Feinstein’s helplessness as she rapidly approaches her 90s is shocking:
[People] familiar with Feinstein’s situation describe her as seriously struggling, and say it has been evident for several years…. They say 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.
One aide to another senator described what he called a “Kabuki” meeting in which Feinstein’s staff tried to steer her through a proposed piece of legislation that she protested was “just words” which “make no sense.” Feinstein’s staff has said that sometimes she seems herself, and other times unreachable.”
Now picture a Chinese spy serving on this staff that has to rigidly steer the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the performance of her duties. The highly alarming fact is that this is not even conjecture. We know Feinstein had a Chinese spy on her staff for some two decades and that this agent had close personal contact with her on a daily basis.
We also know that Feinstein’s husband amassed a fortune doing business in China while she served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee starting in the 1990s. Feinstein’s substantial personal wealth is in large part due to China.
Christine Fang and Eric Swalwell
A key aspect of the roiling Swalwell scandal is that the Chinese targeted California politicians, and San Francisco Bay Area ones in particular, as part of the operation conducted by Christine Fang.
“Between 2011 and 2015, Fang’s activities brought her into contact with many of the Bay Area’s most prominent politicos,” Axios, which broke the Swalwell story, reports. “Fang’s friends and acquaintances said she was in her late 20s or early 30s when she was based in the U.S. and was enrolled as a student at a Bay Area university,” the website noted.
Feinstein’s career began as a San Francisco politician who rose to become mayor of that city in the late 1970s. She has a documented track record of unusually cozy ties to Red China stretching back over 40 years.
A March 1997 article in the San Francisco Chronicle highlights how federal officials have feared Chinese attempts to influence California Democratic politicians for decades now. At that time, Feinstein furiously rebuffed allegations that China would ever attempt to funnel illegal campaign contributions to her. Fellow Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer was also notified by the FBI “that Chinese citizens or government officials might try to contact her office ‘in an effort to influence U.S. foreign policy,'” the Chronicle reported.
The Chronicle summed up Feinstein’s exceptionally close relationship with China:
“Feinstein probably has the closest links to high-level Chinese government officials of any member of Congress. Her ties to the country go back nearly two decades. When she was mayor of San Francisco, from 1978 to 1988, she led trade and other delegations to Shanghai, San Francisco’s sister city, as well as to other Chinese cities.”
There is no reason to believe Feinstein’s tight ties to the communist superpower would suddenly slack off in her declining years when her fragile health would make her all the more susceptible to manipulation.
Notably, the senator went out of her way just a few months ago to vociferously defend China from any blowback from the coronavirus pandemic. In July, she stridently opposed allowing U.S. citizens to sue the nation for damages caused by the health crisis that originated in China.
As she did so, she again played up her high regard for the country.
“Where I live… we hold China as a potential trading partner,” Fox News reported her as saying. “As a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time. And as a country growing into a respectable nation among other nations. And I deeply believe that. I’ve been to China a number of times. I’ve studied the issues.”
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.