By now we're all familiar with the man shaping up to be America's greatest heel: Martin Shkreli. Shkreli, you surely remember, is the once-hedge fund manager who made news for orchestrating huge price hikes of life-saving drugs, purchasing the only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album, and a recent arrest for securities fraud. After he was subpoenaed to appear before a congressional hearing on prescription drug pricing, Shkreli mocked Congress on Twitter and toyed with the possibility of not showing up. Well, he went, and it was quite the show.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the committee treated with such contempt,” Reuters reports Representative John L. Mica of Florida as saying.
Although the hearing was not about the criminal charges faced by Shkreli, he nevertheless invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to engage with lawmakers other than to repeat some variation on a Fifth Amendment theme.
"On the advice of council," Shkreli repeatedly intoned at yesterday's hearing, "I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question."
His response, which he gave over and over in between smirks and mocking scowls ("The 10 Most Punchable Faces of Martin Shkreli," as New York Magazine put it), was consistent regardless of whether he was asked about prescription drugs or the Wu-Tang Clan album (and yes, he was asked about the Wu-Tang Clan album).
The video, which we highly encourage you to watch, depicts a man seemingly reveling in the attention the hearing provides him. And while we wholeheartedly despise Shkreli and all his bullshit antics, goddamn his testimony is entertaining.
“The way I see it," Representative Maryland Congressman Elijah E. Cummings told Shkreli, "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.
Cummings had previously beefed with Shkreli on Twitter, and although one might have expected him to relish the opportunity to lecture the captive aspiring rapper, he in fact just seemed sad in the face of such smug callousness.
Martin didn't turn it off when he left the hearing, either, quickly tweeting out his thoughts on the affair.
Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016
Cummings, who at that point was in the middle of questioning someone from Turing Pharmaceuticals, reportedly pounded his first on the dais when told about tweet.