Martin Shkreli did a Donald Trump.
Unfortunately, that flamboyant appearance before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform could hurt him in other federal charges he is facing. Powers-that-be don't like to be played with.
During the questioning, he rolled his eyes and smirked, along with taking the Fifth Amendment. Afterward he tweeted that those on the Committee were "imbeciles." The hearing focused why his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, had significantly raised the price of anti-infective medication, Daraprim. Here is the coverage from Bloomberg.
But what was most fascinating about the aftermath of that bizarre interlude was how Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, comported himself. Overall, Brafman sounded more like the kid's PR guy than his legal counsel.
For instance, as Bloomberg reports, Brafman noted:
"Martin Shkreli is a very interesting person. He's very smart, he's self-schooled, he's intensely bright. I think he understood that today was not about learning the facts about Daraprim. The only purpose of forcing him to show up is to do what they did and he resented it."
Hey, in addition to playing the PR guy, we might also say that Brafman was functioning as a psychologist.
Government types, especially those in any branch of law enforcement, don't appreciate smartasses. One of my ghostwriting clients, Andrew Bachman, had a verbal swagger like that of Shkreli. Then the FTC paid a visit. As Caroyn Tomer reflects in this interview with Bachman, he became a changed man after the visit. Later Bachman settled with the FTC. But his legal problems may not be over.
One wonders if Shkreli will also be broken? The world needs smartasses. However, to retain that persona they have to have brilliant timing when to show off and when to conform.