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Had the matter been dealt with swiftly, and properly, he would have been sacked, tried, and perhaps fined and given a suspended sentence. His close connection to the Presidency would have been a minor embarrassment probably soon forgotten.
As you say, it was the subsequent cover-up which elevated this into a major affair. Was it just an excess of loyalty by Macron and his staff, or is their a culture of cover-up and impunity at the highest levels? Is this part of a pattern of similar events?
Macron already seems vulnerable to charges of arrogance and dreams of omnipotence. This affair is not going to help his public image at all. If he dismisses this as just another example of a hostile press out to get him he may be in for a rude surprise at the next elections.
Sometimes it is the little things that betray what you are truly like, and the French people may not like what they see,
Index of Frank's Diaries
At least one police union (not the main police union) filed a criminal suit against Benalla. The page on their web site is rather scathing: "After the cosplay president, the cosplay adviser".
As you stated, it was a combination of both personal loyalty from Macron to those who serve him faithfully, and a culture of cover-up and impunity that is permeating the whole executive, especially the law enforcement part. This is where the Parliament, who has been rather marginalized under Macron, is smelling blood. It's too late to cover-up now.
Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure), a contraction of the words costume play, is a hobby in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.
Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, live-action films, television series and video games.
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