Schmidt also broke several stories about doping in baseball. With another reporter at the Times, Schmidt wrote the story about sexual harassment allegations against Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly that led to Fox firing O'Reilly.
Schmidt grew up in Nyack, New York, and went to high school at John Randolph Tucker High School in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 2005 with an AB in International Affairs after co-founding and editing Marooned with classmate Erin Koen.
In 2004, Schmidt worked at The Boston Globe.
Schmidt began working for The Times as a news clerk in 2005. In December 2007, he was made a staff reporter, covering performance-enhancing drugs and legal issues in sports.
In 2009, Schmidt broke the stories that David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa were among the roughly 100 players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003.
In 2010, Schmidt broke the story about how the firm of baseball super agent Scott Boras had provided tens of thousands of dollars in loans to a young prospect, raising questions about whether Boras' firm had broken rules designed to prevent players from being exploited.
Schmidt was a correspondent for The Times in Iraq in 2011. During his time in Iraq, he uncovered a series of classified documents in a junkyard in Baghdad. The documents were testimony from Marines about the 2005 Haditha Massacre. In that incident, the Marines had killed 26 Iraqi civilians. An Iraqi junkyard attendant had used other classified American documents to cook smoked carp. The story, which ran as American troops were leaving Iraq in 2011, was widely praised.
In May 2015, Schmidt was part of a group of Times reporters who broke a series of stories about the Justice Department charging FIFA executives. Schmidt was in the lobby of a hotel in Switzerland when law enforcement officers arrested the executives.
Schmidt has been one of the Times' lead reporters on the federal and Congressional investigations into connections between Donald J. Trump's associates and the Russians. On March 5, 2017, Schmidt broke the story that the F.B.I. director James B. Comey had asked the Justice Department to publicly refute Trump's claims that President Obama had him wired tapped during the 2016 campaign.
In March 2015, Schmidt broke the story that Hillary Rodham Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account when she was secretary of state. The story said that Clinton "may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record." In response to the story, Mrs. Clinton announced that she would release all of her work related emails from her time in office.
After breaking the story, he was the lead reporter covering the Hillary Clinton email controversy.
On May 16th, 2017, Schmidt broke the story that James B. Comey, former FBI Director under the Trump Administration, had written an FBI memo detailing President Donald J. Trump's alleged ordering of Comey to end the FBI's investigation of former Trump Admin National Security Adviser Michael Flynn prior to the conclusion of the investigation's findings. The story led the Justice Department to appoint the former F.B.I. director Bob Mueller to investigate Trump.
Defenders of Mrs. Clinton have said that Schmidt's coverage of her is not fair and he has been frequently criticized by the group Media Matters and other liberals. After breaking the Clinton email story, Media Matters's founder and chairman, David Brock, wrote an open letter to The New York Times about the story, "prominent correction as soon as possible" about the story. The Times did not run a correction. The inspector general for the State Department said in May 2016 that Clinton's use of the account had violated State Department's record keeping policies.
In December 2015, a New York Times story by Schmidt and Apuzzo (written together with Julia Preston) criticized the US government for missing crucial evidence during the visa vetting process for Tashfeen Malik, who would later become one of the shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino attack. The director of the FBI dismissed the reporting as "garble" and it turned out that rather than having "talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad" as stated in the NYT article, she had mentioned these in private communications. The New York Times' public editor called for "systemic changes" after these articles by Schmidt and his coauthors (both of which had relied on anonymous government sources).
Members of the far right have tried to claim that stories Schmidt wrote about connections between Trump's associates and the Russians help bolster Trump's claim that Obama had him wiretapped. The Times public editor said the right's claims are "a bold exaggeration."