'Start Here' podcast: Ryan retiring

With a potential 'blue wave' coming, did Paul Ryan just head for the lifeboats?

It's Thursday, April 12, 2018. Here are some of the stories we're talking about on ABC News' new daily podcast, "Start Here."

1. Paul Ryan plans his exit

Since President Donald Trump was sworn in, House Speaker Paul Ryan has seen 27 House Republicans announce that they're either resigning or retiring at the end of their term.

Yesterday morning, Ryan became the 28th when he announced he won’t be running for another term.

We speak to Rep. Rodney Davis (D-IL) to get his reaction, and ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce says that some names to replace Ryan as speaker of the House are already circulating.

2. Chasing down Cohen

Michael Cohen said he didn't do anything wrong, but that did not stop federal agents from seizing several documents from him this week. And this has had Washington in a frenzy, for a few reasons: one, the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller tipped off the Justice Department in the first place; and two, the prospect that agents may have been cleared to take privileged documents from the president's lawyer.

But it's still unclear what exactly what they're looking for, or what Cohen is suspected to have done.

ABC News Senior Investigative Producer Matthew Mosk says the bar is high for the FBI to carry out a search warrant like this one.

3. Breaking up Backpage.com

So you might not have used it, but you've probably heard of Backpage.com.

It's like Craigslist -- people use it to sell cars and furniture. But critics have said the bulk of its revenue come from its adult-oriented section, which advertises "escorts" and "sensual massages."

Well, this past week, the FBI shut it down as the lives of thousands of men, girls and boys hang in the balance.

ABC's Gloria Riviera says just yesterday, Trump signed bipartisan legislation that holds sites like Back Page accountable.

4. Meek Mills' unexpected guests

Earlier this week, we told you about Jared Kushner's personal mission to reform America's prison system -- the result of seeing it up close when his father was incarcerated.

Well, this week, a couple other powerful men went to see an inmate and came out demanding criminal justice reform.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin paid a visit to Robert Rihmeek Williams, a rapper known as Meek Mill, who is serving two to four years for violating probation.

ABC's Zachary Kiesch says Mills' story has resonated with these two powerful men.

5. Changing views on cannabis

As Paul Ryan was surprising everyone by stepping down as House speaker, his predecessor, John Boehner was surprising us too.

In a tweet, he announced he was joining the board of Acreage Holdings, one of the nation's largest investors in marijuana.

"My thinking on cannabis has evolved," he wrote on Twitter, saying marijuana should no longer be a Schedule 1 narcotic along with heroin.

We speak to a state director for a cannabis advocacy group who says this could be a tipping point in the quest to legalize marijuana, while the former director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project tells us this is just a blatant cash grab.

"Start Here" is a daily ABC News podcast hosted by Brad Mielke featuring original reporting on stories that are driving the national conversation. Listen for free at Apple Podcasts -- also available on TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio and the ABC News app.

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