The trial, which took place in 2019, is more of a set piece: the dogged N.C.I.S. agent who assembles the evidence, the sinister consigliere whom Gallagher uses to get witnesses to pull back their story, the obnoxious but brilliant defense lawyer, the stumbling prosecutors, the jury, exclusively male, primarily enlisted, including one SEAL who Philipps asserts lied about having no prior relationship with Gallagher.
The trial is followed by a further set piece, in which Donald Trump leans on the Navy high command to inflict no penalties whatsoever on Gallagher, including reduction in rank and the removal of the prized SEAL Trident pin. Fox News personalities brayed in his defense, and the secretary of the Navy who tried to steer a middle course was eventually dismissed; he was caught between the demands of the service and the rage of a president who knew that his people loved the Gallagher type, and who rather liked murderous thugs who supported him.
But the most interesting part of this…