Shkreli Pleads The Fifth, Calls Congress “Imbeciles”

Martin Shkreli surprised Congress by pleading the Fifth at a hearing on Thursday.

By: Bronte Price, PolitcKING

Martin Shkreli, the 32 year old former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, invoked his Fifth Amendment right while Congress fired off questions about his company's increasing drug prices. The New York Times reported that his Shkreli’s company increased the price of the decades-old drug fiftyfold overnight. Shkreli left the company after he was indicted on federal securities fraud charges in December.

After refusing to answer question after question, Rep. Trey Gowdy, who was visibly frustrated commented that Shkreli “didn’t have to be prodded to talk’’ on television or Twitter. Shkreli replied saying, “I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours.’’

Shkreli was released from the hearing after less than hour because he was refusing to answer questions. He proceeded to tweet moments later, calling congress “imbeciles.”

Rep. John L. Mica, Republican from Florida said after Shkreli left the room, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the committee treated with such contempt.” Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican from Georgia and the only pharmacist in Congress, said that he supports free market principles but was "disgusted" by the price increase.

The committee’s top-ranked Democrat, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland told Shkreli, “The way I see it, you can go down in history as the poster boy for greedy drug company executives or you can change the system. Yeah, you,” he added, “I truly believe you could become a force of tremendous good.’’

Immediately following the hearing, Shkreli’s lawyer released a statement about his client’s behavior in the hearing. “Although Mr. Shkreli followed my advice about making no statements at the hearing, it was very frustrating for him to listen to what he believed to be patently false statements about Turing that he could not respond to because of the pending criminal charges,” he wrote. “He meant no disrespect but in truth, statements made by some of the members of the committee were wrong, unfair and difficult to listen to without responding.”

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