Shkreli blasts lawmakers as 'imbeciles' after hearing

Shkreli blasts lawmakers as 'imbeciles' after hearing
© Greg Nash

Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli lashed out at members of a congressional panel on Twitter just minutes after refusing to answer any questions at the lawmakers’ hearing.

“Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government,” Shkreli tweeted after being escorted out of a House Oversight Committee hearing on drug prices. 

He then retweeted a half-dozen other insults directed at Congress from his followers, calling lawmakers “pathetic human beings” and “buffoons.”

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Shkreli, described as the “bad boy of pharma,” was subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee to discuss his decision to hike up the cost of a live-saving, anti-parasitic drug by 5,000 percent overnight.

The “pharma bro,” who is facing separate federal charges, pleaded the Fifth Amendment to protect himself against self-incrimination.

He antagonized lawmakers during his nearly 45 minutes on the stand by smirking, twirling his pencil, doodling and posing for pictures, while refusing to answer any questions about drug prices. One lawmaker suggested he should be held in contempt.

No longer with Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli was skewered by both parties during the committee hearing, many of whom focused on his lavish lifestyle with purchases like a $2 million, single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album.

His lawyer, who left with Shkreli about 45 minutes into the hearing, delivered a sharply worded statement calling the panel a “hostile forum.”

“He’s not the villain, he’s not the bad boy. I think at the end of this story, he’s a hero,” his lawyer said. “I think the only regrets he has are the unfair treatment he has received.”

Shrekli also later tweeted: "I had prior counsel produce a memo on facial expressions during congressional testimony if anyone wants to see it. Interesting precedence."