'Start Here': 2 Pruitt aides resign as questions continue to swirl around EPA chief

PHOTO: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 16, 2018.PlayAndrew Harnik/AP, FILE
WATCH EPA chief under fire accused of trying to get his wife a fast food franchise

It's June 7, 2018. Here are some of the stories we're talking about on ABC News' new daily podcast, "Start Here."

1. EPA turmoil

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is the subject of more than a dozen ethics investigations, and he's back on defense amid ongoing turmoil in his department.

There are new revelations he reached out to the head of fast food chain Chick-fil-A to help his wife land a franchise. And two of Pruitt's closest aides resigned on Wednesday, according to EPA officials, after they received large raises earlier this year.

Will he last as EPA chief? ABC News' Kyra Phillips tells us, "The pressure is on to push Pruitt out."

"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 on the ABC News app, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio -- or ask Alexa: "Play 'Start Here.'"

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2. A snapshot of DOJ findings

A wide-ranging draft report by the Justice Department's internal watchdog rebukes both former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, sources familiar with the report tell ABC News.

Sources said the report concluded Comey defied authority more than once, including when he sent a letter to Congress just days before Election Day 2016 announcing the reopening of the Clinton probe. One source said it describes his behavior as "insubordinate."

ABC News' Mike Levine, who broke the story, tells us these details are only "a snapshot of what this inspector general is going to find."

PHOTO: Former FBI Director, James Comey appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Office Building, June 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C.Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images, FILE
Former FBI Director, James Comey appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Office Building, June 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

3. 'Enamored with pardons'

It started with a pardon request from Kim Kardashian, and now, a week later, Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence for her first drug offense, has been released from prison.

Johnson's commuted sentence is the latest of several acts of clemency granted by President Donald Trump, and it's left people to wonder —- who’s next? Trump is currently "enamored with pardons," according to ABC News' Katherine Faulders, and he's considering more than a dozen appeals for clemency.

PHOTO: Kim Kardashian arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Trump to discuss prison reform and Alice Marie Johnson.Richard Beetham/ Splash News, FILE
Kim Kardashian arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Trump to discuss prison reform and Alice Marie Johnson.

4. NFL and domestic violence

As the NFL grapples with its image around the national anthem and the White House, another crisis has emerged. Two women who are experts in handling domestic violence cases have stepped down from the NFL Players Association’s commission on the subject.

ABC News Legal Analyst and ESPN "Outside the Lines" co-host Ryan Smith tells us why they resigned and what the NFLPA has done to address domestic violence.

PHOTO: Football and helmet on a field.STOCK/Getty Images
Football and helmet on a field.

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