Combative Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro has been named as a new host on the right-wing network’s panel talk show The Five.
The promotion from her weekly Saturday night show Justice with Jeanine comes after she was named as a co-defendant in a $2.7bn defamation lawsuit filed by voting software company Smartmatic.
The lawsuit names Ms Pirro, along with Fox News, host Maria Bartiromo, Rudy Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell as falsely accusing Smartmatic of rigging the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump.
Ms Pirro’s attorneys have argued the lawsuit is “meritless” and that she should be protected by the First Amendment.
However, a judge declined to dismiss the case during a hearing in December, and another judge previously suggested statements made on Fox appeared defamatory.
Ms Pirro emerged as one of Donald Trump’s fiercest media allies during his presidency, frequently railing against his political opponents during animated monologues on her Saturday night Fox show.
She is the first full-time appointee to the role vacated by Donald Trump Jr’s fiancée Kimberley Guilfoyle, who left Fox in 2018 amid a controversy over her allegedly showing intimate photos to colleagues.
Ms Pirro, 70, joins network stalwarts Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino and Jesse Watters on the five-person panel show.
The rotating “liberal” chair will be swap between former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr, Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov and correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera.
In a statement, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said: “The Five continues to be a beloved show by the American audience.
“Each of the co-hosts are accomplished and insightful talent with diverse opinions and terrific chemistry who will certainly help drive this ensemble program going forward.”
Prior to joining Fox News in 2011, Ms Pirro was a New York state judge and Westchester County district attorney.
She was suspended by Fox for two weeks in 2019 after making Islamaphobic comments about Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Ms Pirro has two children with ex-husband Albert Pirro, who was convicted in 2000 of conspiracy and tax evasion for filing false tax returns that hid more than $1m in personal income.
Mr Trump pardoned Mr Pirro in one of his final acts as president.
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