What do you call people in high places or some criminal who protect you in some way? For example, if it's someone in a high place and you did something illegal, they abuse their power to help you get away with it. Or if it's a crimina they literally protect you from other criminals. I would like to know formal and informal ways to say it.
The closest I can think of are the idioms “friends in high places” or “connections”.
For instance, if there is a local crime ring that never seems to be targeted by the police (or if they are, never gets convicted), you might suspect they “have friends in high places” or are “connected”.
Both have a non-criminal sense; for instance, you might get a job because you’re connected to (known by) people at that company who are high enough up to get you hired.
I'm not sure that this is the best answer but it is an answer.
2: one having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: such as a: one that founds, supports, or inspires made him the godfather of a whole generation of rebels — The Times Literary Supplement (London)
b: the leader of an organized crime syndicate