Ethics Office has 'essentially' reported Trump to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution
Donald Trump speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's 2015 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber reports that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) sent a letter to the Department of Justice on President Donald Trump's hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Former Department of Justice spokesperson Matt Miller described the letter as "essentially a criminal referral to DOJ for Trump making a false statement in a previous financial disclosure."

"Fascinated by OGE’s decision to make this referral public," he continued. "Leaves DOJ no choice but to open at least a preliminary investigation into Trump for false statements (if he wasn’t already a subject in the Cohen inquiry, which he might be)."

Walter Shaub, the former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, went even further than Miller.

"This is tantamount to a criminal referral," Shaub suggested. "OGE has effectively reported the president to DOJ for potentially committing a crime."