Martin Shkreli, the entrepreneur who sparked widespread opprobrium by hiking the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 last year, pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a congressional committee on Thursday, silently smirking his way through proceedings.
Despite members of congress launching a stinging rebuke of the businessman's practices, Shkreli refused to answer the committee’s questions, preferring to rant on Twitter afterwards about the “imbeciles” in Congress.
Shkreli is facing a federal criminal indictment unrelated to the price gouging accusations, however Thursday's House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing focused on his previous company Turing Pharmaceuticals' decision, to raise the price of daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.
US Representative Elijah Cummings told of drug company executives “lining their pockets at the expense of some of the most vulnerable families in our nation."
"It's not funny, Mr. Shkreli," he said as the businessman smiled. "People are dying and they're getting sicker and sicker."
Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016
When Representative Trey Gowdy told the entrepreneur he could testify on the price increase without incriminating himself, Shkreli shot back: “I intend to follow the advice of counsel, not yours.”
"I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours" I love this guy 😂 @MartinShkreli— Katie Sullivan (@kesullivan99) February 4, 2016
Gowdy: Is it Wu Tang Clan…the name of the group?— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) February 4, 2016
Shkreli: On advice of counsel, I invoke my 5th amendment privilege
Shkreli has gained a cult following in recent months after buying the only copy of a new Wu Tang Clan album for $2 million.