Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli went to war with congress on Thursday as lawmakers warned he could be prosecuted for contempt if he does not appear next week for a hearing about drug prices.
One of Shkreli’s lawyers informed the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of his intent not to answer questions and asked that he be excused from appearing, committee chairman Jason Chaffetz wrote in the letter.
Decided to remain silent clashes with Shrekli’s contact use of social media, specifically Twitter and livestream video.
Shkreli was subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee to discuss his decision to raise the cost of live-saving drug Daraprim by 5,000% while serving as the CEO at Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Shkreli said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. On Twitter, he told followers it was “disgusting and insulting” for lawmakers to try to subvert that right.
There are two options for Shkreli on Tuesday. First, he can appear in court and invoke his right or second he can stay in New York and be held in contempt of court, which would automatically set off a criminal prosecution.
Shkreli resigned as chief executive officer of Turing last month after his arrest on the fraud charges.
Fights over congressional testimony are common as executives attempt to avoid saying or revealing anything that could later be used against them in a criminal trial.
It was unclear on Thursday whether Shkreli would make the trip to Washington to invoke his 5th amendment rights.