Most admins in most companies, including the white house, follow their orders from pointy-haired bosses. I bet the admins in place are rather competent and following orders rather well. As in most things, follow the money and you find the culprit.
Given that so much of the current administration is involved in cover ups and lies to the American public, how could this be viewed as surprising. These guys are very good at what they really do, and no, running a country is not it. The Presidency and the houses are merely tools for these people to get what they want accomplished. Be it laws that benefit them or an ego trip. I am not talking about Republicans or Democrats. Think about where the money comes from. Who backs these people?
I know people who have gotten into politics because they wanted to serve their communities. I do not know anyone who has progressed beyond the local level without becoming tainted. As they go higher up into politics, they tend to pick up more debts. They make compromises. Name the last independent President.
Politics is dirty. Power abuse is dirty. They go hand in hand for a very good reason. Most people who want power want it for a personal reason. They believe they are right, they are better, they can do better. Whatever the reason, they in their heart know they deserve it and are normally unwilling to accept hindrances they can secretly get past. They understand that to get what they want, they have to break the rules and lie sometimes. They become very good at getting away with it, or they never make it to the top. If you doubt this, take a look back at all of the politicians who have made it to the houses or the presidency.
Look at work. Who makes it to the top without doing something along the way? Not to the first or second level, but to the top. Many people who want the job bad enough do what it takes to get the job and do unsavory things along the way. They like to keep those things secret. They get very good at it. Period. Or they would not be at the top.
That is why transparency in politics is critical. That is why no communication or meeting in the government should ever be unrecorded. Maybe kept classified in a very few cases, but always permanently recorded. Let them sweat with the fear of impropriety as opposed to the fear of discovery. There will always be people who can go back in time to read or listen to transcripts. It is much more difficult to uncover hidden secrets.
In case you can not tell, I inherently do not trust officials. Even those I know well. I know all too well about the hidden lives and deals many of them have. Even those with a golden heart get trapped. It is inevitable for most. They are trying to accomplish things they believe in (assuming they are of a good hear tin the first place) and little compromises are needed to get the job done. Little compromises beget bigger compromises. It is how politics works. Compromise. Unfortunately, some of these compromises are nasty little secrets, and they cause more nasty little secrets and bigger nasty secrets. Like a snowball. You can not tell the difference until they are discovered. It is what they do. Like actors, they put on a face and do not show their true will or fear. Most would never be elected if they did.
So, the current group destroyed the evidence before it was asked for. They knew what was there. They knew what it could cause and they knew how to manipulate the rules to cover it up. Makes them pretty damn good at what they do. Yeah, the bosses knew what they were asking for. Did they break any laws? I do not know, but rest assured, this activity is completely in line with the rest of the actions of this administration and many other administrations. Secrets are the name of the power game.