Cummings Issues Statement on Martin Shkreli's Subpoena to Appear Before Oversight Committee

Cummings Issues Statement on Martin Shkreli's Subpoena to Appear Before Oversight Committee

Washington, DC (Jan. 21, 2016)—This morning, Democratic and Republican staff on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were contacted by an attorney at Arnold and Porter who represents Martin Shkreli. The attorney stated that neither Mr. Shkreli nor any of his legal representatives has taken any steps to inform the judge in his federal criminal case about the subpoena he received from the Committee ten days ago—on January 11, 2016.

Since Mr. Shkreli has been released on bail in his criminal case, his existing bond arrangement states that he must remain in New York and may not leave "without Court permission." His attorney informed the Committee today, however, that Mr. Shkreli has not taken the basic step of seeking leave from the court to travel to Washington to comply with the Committee's subpoena.

In response to this revelation, the Committee's Ranking Member, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, issued the following statement:

"Mr. Shkreli was subpoenaed to appear before Congress, and it is his responsibility to take reasonable steps to comply. If he plans on trying to use his own intentional inaction as some kind of bogus excuse for not showing up at Tuesday's hearing, people will see right through such a juvenile tactic. I hope he reconsiders his current course and avoids any additional legal action against him."

Although Shkreli's attorney has suggested that he might assert the Fifth Amendment, Shkreli tweeted yesterday that he has not yet decided:  "House busy whining to health care reporters about me appearing for their chitchat next week. Haven't decided yet.  Should I?"

In recent days, Shkreli has mocked the Committee's subpoena, posting a picture of it on Twitter and writing, "Found this letter. Looks important."

Several federal statutes could be implicated if Shkreli does not comply with the subpoena. The Committee could seek to hold him in contempt under 2 U.S.C. Section 194, and he could receive jail time and financial penalties under 2 U.S.C. Section 192.