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Martin Shkreli booted from Congress for refusing questions | One Herald
Home / Top Story / Martin Shkreli booted from Congress for refusing questions

Martin Shkreli booted from Congress for refusing questions

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2016, 10:56 AM

Martin Shkreli smirked through his Congress hearing and refused all questions.JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS

Martin Shkreli smirked through his Congress hearing and refused all questions.

“Pharma bro” went to Washington — and for once, he shut up.

Reviled ex-executive Martin Shkreli smirked his way through a congressional hearing about his infamous drug price-gouging Thursday morning, but hid behind the Fifth Amendment to avoid every single question — even one about the Wu-Tang Clan.

The hearing committee quickly got fed up with him, and booted Shkreli from the room within minutes.

Only then did he have something to say — on Twitter, at least.

“Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government,” the brat businessman tweeted soon after his disastrous appearance. 

Congress called on Shkreli to testify about his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, which bought the life-saving pill Daraprim last year and immediately jacked its price from $ 13.50 to $ 750. Turing CCO Nancy Retzlaff joined him, as did Howard Schiller, interim CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, another company accused of price-gouging.

Shkreli said this week he was looking forward to his chance to “insult” Congress. But Thursday, he only did so with his silence and smirks.

“I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours,” Shkreli told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as its members begged him to answer anything.

Shkreli — who ceaselessly shares details from his personal life on social media — invoked his Fifth Amendment rights at least 10 times, even when the questions drifted far from his business tactics.

Rep .Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asked Shkreli about the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli bought for $ 2 million dollars.

“Is it Wu-Tang Clan? Is that the name of the group?” Gowdy said.

Shkreli: “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question.”

Shkreli diverted from his scripted answer rarely — like when Gowdy asked if he pronounced Shkreli’s name correctly.

“Yes,” Shkreli said.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) scolded Shkreli before the committee chose to oust him.

“You have a spotlight and you have a platform. You could use that attention to come clean, to right your wrongs, and to become one of the most effective patient advocates in the country.”

“I know you’re smiling,”  Cummings added, “but I’m very serious, sir.”

A damning report released ahead of the hearing showed Shkreli and other Turing execs boasting about big profits expected from Daraprim in emails last year. The company also worked with consultants about how to pipe down AIDS activists who would be furious once the pill’s price soared. 

The hearing is unrelated to Shkreli’s charges for an alleged Ponzi scheme, which brought him to Brooklyn Federal Court Wednesday. He resigned as Turing CEO days after his arrest in December. 

jsilverstein@nydailynews.com


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