Former Turing Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Officer Martin Shkreli invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions on Thursday from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing was on drug pricing, for which Shkreli became notorious when he increased the price of a common drug used for HIV and cancer patients by 5000%.
Since then, Shkreli has leaned into his Internet fame, offering to bail a rapper out of jail and purchasing the sole copy of a valuable Wu-Tang album. As much as he loves to be defiant and talk about rap, he wouldn't even answer a question about the Wu-Tang.
When Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) inquired about his purchase of the Wu-Tang album, Shkreli continued to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. Gowdy wouldn't drop the issue, insisting that Shkreli could answer some questions, like when Gowdy asked him to confirm the pronunciation of "Shkreli."
Here's the exchange, and a very smug use of constitutional rights:
At one point, Shkreli's lawyer attempted to interject and was promptly told by Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to sit down. Shrkeli was ultimately excused, because there's not much you can do when a sworn witness won't answer any questions.
Perhaps this was a contentious hearing because the House Committee on Oversight already started a Twitter feud with Shkreli:
Not surprisingly, Shkreli responded:
He was also not impressed by the members of Congress, and made certain to let everyone know it after he left the hearing:
The legal proceedings against Shkreli will take a long time to complete. For now, everyone can enjoy that a Republican congressman from the south had to ask about the Wu-Tang Clan during an official hearing.