Senior Fellow, Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement
Susan Schmidt is well-versed in Washington politics and governmental affairs, with a long track record as of one of the capital’s most trusted and accomplished investigative reporters. She has unearthed information that unraveled numerous high-profile political, financial and legal stories. She has twice won Pulitzer Prizes – in 2006 for her Washington Post exposes of Jack Abramoff’s corrupt lobbying machine, and, in 2002 with Bob Woodward and five other Post reporters, for reporting on terrorism.
In more than two decades of reporting at the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau, Ms. Schmidt’s reputation for deep and careful reporting has won her wide access within Washington’s infrastructure – its politicians, lawyers, judges, lobbyists, regulators, as well as intelligence and law enforcement figures. Her investigative efforts have been directed at a wide array of topics, from medical malpractice, spies, religious charlatans, savings and loan fraudsters, to political corruption and terrorist networks. She exposed junk bond trading by the Comptroller of the Currency and the investigation of a White House intern’s affair with President Clinton.
Her Pulitzer-winning articles on Jack Abramoff in 2004-2005 triggered a lengthy string of Justice Department prosecutions that put the lobbyist in federal prison, along with U.S. Representative Bob Ney and a host of other congressional staff members and U.S. officials. Her articles on the business dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1993 helped trigger an Independent Counsel inquiry, several criminal prosecutions, and numerous congressional investigations.
Ms. Schmidt is able to undertake complex investigations as well as marshal and shape information to be presented in the public space. Decades of reporting that have also gained her a wide circle of contacts in the newspaper, magazine and broadcast media.
Ms. Schmidt is co-author, with Time magazine writer Michael Weisskopf, of the 2000 New York Times bestselling book "Truth at Any Cost," a behind-the-scenes account of the legal battle between independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr and the Clinton White House. She is a contributor to "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America’s Closest Election," by the political staff of the Washington Post. It was published in 2001.