There is a very well understood concept used by politicians, secret services , business leaders and pretty much any organization that has ever wanted to create a barrier between leaders and illegal actions, this concept is plausible deniability.
When a leader creates a culture of “the result justifies the means”, and makes it clear that it’s okay to bully people or perform unethically or illegally as long as you are not caught then it should be expected that the people that follow this leader will perform unethically or illegally and know not to let the leader know of these actions.
A great example of this is the bully who runs the state of New Jersey. The governor is well know for verbally beating up those who he disagrees with, and often makes the case for pushing ahead with ideas that are unpopular with groups he personally does not respect.
He clearly is a person who believes that the ends justify the means, and is very clear in his words and actions that he is okay bullying people and walking over those who disagree with him.
In this climate, I would expect the people who work for him to show the same level if disrespect for others. And I see no reason why these people would feel the need to ask for approval for these types of actions.
When people who worked for the governor chose to create massive traffic issues at the bridge in Fort Lee, with the conscious reason being to annoy the mayor of that town. I would expect them to see this as business as usual.
I would not have expected them to feel the need to tell the governor, as this would have felt like a normal kind of bullying tactic that they use every single day.
The fact that this particular piece of power play actually was specifically illegal just didn’t occur to them. It was just part of business as usual.
Did the governor do anything or know anything specifically about the bridge? Probably not, and we will probably never know for sure. But we need to go with the evidence and say yep he wasn’t directly involved.
When you elect a bully for governor, who shows disrespect for those he disagrees with, shouts them down, and acts like the bully in the playground, you can expect the kids that hang around him to just act the same way.
The head bully may not be stupid, but the kids that hang around him may, and they are going to act like the bully.
It should be a requirement on everyone to act ethically and with respect for others at all times.
If you elect someone without these attributes overtly, then you get what you deserve.