03/06/2015 03:04 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2015

New York Times Reporter Eric Lichtblau Joins Paper's 2016 Team


NEW YORK -- Eric Lichtblau, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times, is joining the paper's 2016 election team to cover money and politics, according to a staff memo circulated on Friday.

Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan wrote in the memo that Lichtblau will partner with reporter Nicholas Confessore, who has been driving the Times' money and politics coverage.

"The intersection of money and politics is a fascinating part of our political report," Ryan wrote, "offering readers a window into the power, connections and agendas that drive modern campaigns."

Last month, executive editor Dean Baquet told staff that the 2016 race "promises to be an even more sprawling and demanding story than it was in the last cycle." And the Times, he said, is "positioned to dominate coverage."

The paper has been putting substantial resources into its presidential election coverage, including hiring Politico's Maggie Haberman and making several internal moves to bulk up the 2016 team.

Pat Healy, who covered Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for the Times, shifted in January from the theater beat to election coverage, and last month, deputy metro editor David Halbfinger was named presidential campaign editor. Ryan recently tapped reporter Trip Gabriel to cover the Iowa caucuses and is expected to assign a reporter to focus on New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

Lichtblau is an interesting addition, since his experience has been more focused on covering the Justice Department and national security. In 2005, he and reporter James Risen co-wrote the Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Lichtblau is also the author of the 2014 book, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men.

See memo below:


The intersection of money and politics is a fascinating part of our political report, offering readers a window into the power, connections and agendas that drive modern campaigns.

We are fortunate to have the most perceptive writer covering this world, Nicholas Confessore, driving our coverage.

Nick is the rare reporter who can can bring storytelling flair to the intricacies, legal loopholes and tactical trends of campaign finance.

He has chronicled the explosion of outside spending that followed the Citizens United court decision.

But he can also make 501c3s seem sexy and stuffy donor conferences come to life like red carpet affairs.

For this campaign cycle, we are lucky to have a new partner for Nick: the intrepid and talented Eric Lichtblau.

Eric, as many of you know, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize along with James Risen for breaking the story of the secret wiretapping program authorized by President Bush after the 9/11 attacks.

He knows how to get inside secretive institutions and murky worlds, and has broken investigative pieces on political corruption, the Wikileaks files, and the Edward Snowden-NSA revelations.

Last Sunday he broke the story about U.S. effort to deport Bosnians suspected of taking part in war crimes and ethnic cleansing in the 1990s.

That story had an eerie echo of his book, the Nazis Next Door, which describes how America became a haven for Third Reich war criminals after World War II.

The addition of Eric, along with the indispensable Derek Willis of The Upshot and Sarah Cohen's very capable CAR team, will give the Times a formidable team covering one of 2016's most important story lines.