Amid a fusillade of false claims, an email sent up a flare, which was sent from an anguished Fox News news producer to colleagues in 2020. “Fox cannot let host Jeanine Pirro back on the air,” the producer warned after she spread election conspiracy theories. He continued: “She is pulling conspiracy theories from dark corners of the Web to justify then-President Donald Trump’s lies that the election had been stolen from him.”
The email’s existence is first publicly disclosed by NPR in this story, confirmed by two people with direct knowledge of it. Fox News has declined comment. In broadcasting such false claims, Pirro was far from alone. Other prominent Fox stars, commentators and their guests heavily promoted them, in the weeks that followed Election Day 2020.
Dominion Voting Systems was a repeat target, which is the election machine and technology company. On Fox, Trump and his allies alleged that Dominion was engaged in a conscious effort to throw the 2020 race to Joe Biden. On Fox programs, they implied and falsely asserted that Dominion’s machines and software either discarded Trump’s votes or transferred them to Biden. Their false claims were frequently egged on by Fox’s own stars, Dominion argues, said NPR.
As part of its discovery of evidence in a $1.6 billion defamation suit it filed against Fox News and its parent company, the producer’s email is among the voluminous correspondence acquired by Dominion’s attorney. it has been “irreparably harmed” by the lies, conspiracy theories and wild claims of election fraud that aired on Fox, Dominion alleges.
Pirro is a former New York state judge and Westchester County district attorney, but her role remains under sharp scrutiny. After the network publicly condemned her anti-Muslim remarks, Trump called for her return to the airwaves in 2019. She attended Trump’s belligerent address late on Election Night from the White House in 2020, and advanced his arguments on the air in the days and weeks that followed.
For example, Pirro questioned why vote counts shifted against Trump over the course of Election Night in such states as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin on the day that Biden clinched his victory, on November 14, 2020. To understand, some counties were counted later than others; ballots cast the same day were often tallied before those cast by mail.
As she promoted Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell’s “findings” on Dominion, Pirro told viewers that “The Dominion Software System has been tagged as one allegedly capable of flipping votes.” Later, while the Texas state law bar is seeking to have Powell formally punished, a federal judge in Michigan officially sanctioned her for her actions in court on Trump’s behalf after the elections.
Some Fox hosts increasingly tough talked ahead of the January 2021 certification of Biden’s election win, and Pirro was among them surely. Pirro compared those gathering to protest in Washington with Trump to the American soldiers in the Revolutionary War on January 3, 2021, saying: “Jan. 6 will tell us whether there are any in Congress willing to battle for America.” Bloody battles at the U.S. Congress were led to that day.
The former president pardoned Pirro’s husband for two-decades-old convictions for tax evasion, as one of his last acts in office.
In recent days, the Fox News’ and Dominion lawyers have clashed, as court records reflect the voting systems company seeks to convince the court to compel Pirro to testify over private texts that, it argues, are relevant to its defamation case.