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The arrogance of power
is what brings cover-ups such as you describe in every social system or institution of humankind. A special leadership position can engender a sense of entitlement, at least to those of a certain immaturity. They become convinced that they deserve their position and are immune to codes of conduct or laws followed by lesser individuals ("taxes are for little people"), that they themselves are simply due their position ("divine right of kings") and so, if confronted with questions about what they or their fellow elites have done, they deny wrong-doing.

I would venture to say that many involved in such a cover-up resent even the necessity for the cover-up: "how dare we question them!" I also think of the so-called Family in Washington, DC, which provides lavish shelters for hard-right elected officials and wealthy corporatists while excusing reprehensible behavior because they are chosen by God to be leaders, and anything such leaders do is acceptable. (The list of such Chosen has recently included innumerable cheating or lying politicians, Senators like Ensign and Governors like Sanford of South Carolina).

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