Today, Martin Shkreli appeared before the House Oversight Committee to respond to some questions on drug pricing. The 32-year-old former head of Turin Pharmaceuticals has been soundly critiqued for raising the price Daraprim, a drug used to help AIDS patient cope with the disease, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Shkreli's abrasive personality has made him into something of a modern day villain, offending not just our moral sensibilities but, with his purchase of a coveted Wu-Tang Clan album, our artistic ones.

Shkreli, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly running a ponzi-scheme (which has nothing to do with Daraprim), was subpoenaed for the hearing. Because of the indictment, Shkreli refused to offer any substantive answers during today's hearing. This was always the plan, and he stuck to it.

He did not hesitate to tweet rude things, however:

Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.

— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016

And acknowledged that his facial expressions would go a long way:

I had prior counsel produce a memo on facial expressions during congressional testimony if anyone wants to see it. Interesting precedence.

— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016

His shrugs, his smirks, his eyebrow movements did indeed speak volumes. Shkreli may have spoken the words of a slippery, unethical agent trying to avoid getting into legal trouble, but he looked the part of a slippery, unethical high school student trying to look cool after getting caught goofing off by his teacher.


Here he is, wondering what he's doing there, probably:


Here he is looking around for something more interesting to focus on:


Maybe it's over there:


Here he looks like he's trying to pick someone up mid-calc:


Here he's all like, be cool teach:




And here he is, laughing it off:


In reality, Shkreli was stonewalling the oversight committee's every attempt to get through to him. Chairman Jason Chaffetz tried to find out if Shkreli feels any remorse for his actions:

Chaffetz: What do you say to that single, pregnant woman who might have AIDS. No income. She needs daraprim in order to survive. [What do you] say to her when she has to make that choice? What do you say to her?

Shkreli: On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-recrimination, and respectfully decline to answer your question


Chaffetz: "Do you think you've done anything wrong?"

Shkreli: "On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-recrimination, and respectfully decline to answer your question."


Congressman Jay Gowdy tried to goad Shkreli into saying anything at all:

Gowdy:  I just want to make sure you understand, you are welcome to answer questions and not all of your answers are going to subject you to incrimination. You understand that, don't you?"

Shkreli: I intend to follow the advice of my counsel. Not yours.

Gowdy: I just wanna make sure you're getting the right advice. You do know that not ever disclosure can be subject to the Fifth Amendment assertion — only those that you reasonable believe could be used in a criminal prosecution or could lead to other evidence.

Shkreli: I intend to use the advice of my counsel, not yours.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings took a different tactic, telling Shkreli that he could be a hero by urging Turin to lower prices. That exchanged devolved into this:

Cummings: I know you're smiling but I'm very serious, sir… Are you listening?

Shkreli: Yes.

Cummings: Thank you.

Eventually, Chaffetz dismissed Shkreli, after confirming that he didn't intend to speak.


Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.