Martin Shkreli Smirks His Way Through House Hearing, Calls Lawmakers ‘Imbeciles’

PHOTO: Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2016, during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former companys decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine.PlaySusan Walsh/AP Photo
WATCH Former Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli Enrages Lawmakers on Capitol Hill With Smug Attitude and Smirks

Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who raised the price of an anti-parasitic drug fiftyfold, pleaded the fifth before the House Oversight Committee, refusing to answer lawmakers' questions at a hearing on drug pricing.

As lawmakers blasted him for raising the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent, the former pharmaceutical executive rolled his eyes, smiled and even appeared to doodle.

Shkreli, who was subpoenaed to appear at the hearing by the committee, tweeted moments after leaving the Capitol:

As CEO of Turing, Shkreli presided over the purchase of Daraprim, an established drug used to treat parasitic infections. The drug's price was exponentially raised overnight. He stepped down from that post in December after his arrest on unrelated securities fraud charges. Shkreli has pleaded not guilty.

PHOTO: Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former companys decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine.Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former company's decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine.

“What do you say to that single pregnant woman who might have AIDS, no income and she needs Daraprim in order to survive?” asked Republican Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who called Shkreli's actions “despicable.”

“Do you think you've done anything wrong?” he asked.

Shkreli, “on advice of counsel,” invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

When told he could choose to answer some questions and not others, Shkreli told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), “I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours.”

PHOTO: Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli, right, and Nancy Retzlaff, Chief Commercial Officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, are sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 4, 2016.Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli, right, and Nancy Retzlaff, Chief Commercial Officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, are sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 4, 2016.

House lawmakers accused Turing -- along with Valeant Pharmaceuticals -- of raising drug prices in search of profit. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the panel, released a series of e-mails from both companies Tuesday, saying they illustrated how the drug price increases were profit-minded from the start, despite the company's public comments.

Shkreli was dismissed from the hearing after 50 minutes. Shkreli's attorney told reporters his client was misunderstood and did not intend to disrespect the panel.

“When all of the facts about Daraprim and Turing are ultimately disclosed, I think everyone will recognize that Mr. Shkreli is not a villain. He's not the bad boy. I think at the end of this story that he is a hero,” attorney Benjamin Brafman said.

PHOTO: Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli is followed by reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2016, following his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee. Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli is followed by reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2016, following his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee.

Moments later, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to blast lawmakers as he departed Capitol Hill.