Sep 13, 2017, 11:01 AM ET

'Pharma bro' issues apology letter for alleged threat against Hillary Clinton

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Convicted ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli said today his appeal to his social media followers to “grab” Hillary Clinton’s hair was an “awkward attempt at humor or satire” and was not the threat federal prosecutors allege.

Shkreli conceded he used “poor judgment” when he offered $5,000 to anyone who could “grab a hair from her” during Clinton’s tour to promote her new book. Prosecutors said it was part of Shkreli’s “escalating pattern of threats and harassment” against Clinton and they asked that his bail be revoked.

Shkreli said threatening Clinton was never his intention.

“I used poor judgment,” Shkreli wrote in a letter to the court, “but never contended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever.”

Shkreli, infamous for hiking the price of a life-saving drug, was convicted this summer in a fraud related to two hedge funds he controlled. He has been free on $5 million bail and his letter asked the judge “not to change my bail status so that I may continue to assist my attorneys in preparing for my sentencing.”

There is a hearing scheduled for today.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York called Shkreli a “danger to the community” because of his posts.

“Shkreli’s latest threat is concerning not only because it has required a significant expenditure of resources by the United States Secret Service, which is charged with protecting Secretary Clinton, but also because there is a significant risk that one of his many social media followers or others who learn of his offers through the media will take his statements seriously—as has happened previously—and act on them,” they wrote in their motion to revoke bail.

Government officials did not say if any of Shkreli’s followers followed through on the threat.

Shkreli’s defense stressed the “satirical nature” of his post.

“While we do not condone Mr. Shkreli’s comments,” his defense attorney Benjamin Brafman wrote, “his constitutionally-protected political hyperbole does not rise to the level of making him a ‘danger to the community.’”

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  • THEFred

    Any reason to lock up Martin Shkreli in a cage immediately is a good thing.

  • TexasVulcan

    Why is this guy not in prison? Why does the federal government bow to drug company lobbies and not enact some cost controls?

  • Guapo

    "Pharma bro" is trying to lower the bar even further and become the "Pharma brah"

  • TrumptyDumptysFALL

    What a shock !! He loves trump.

  • Skippy3504

    Did he specifically say a hair from her head?😉

  • CantStoptheSignalMal

    He's going to jail anyways... just waiting on the sentencing. The judge should just revoke his bail since he's a convict.

  • Citizen123

    Revoke his bail and let him rot in jail. What a poor excuse of a human being!

  • Abby1

    He only offer his shallow apology and excuse because this time he might not be able to buy his way out of jail. If he goes to jail, he will be just like every other criminal in jail. He will not be special. Plus, there might be someone that will kick his butt if he makes them mad or if they perceive him as physically weak.

  • Abby1

    Encouraging followers to go and pull someone's hair is not part of "his constitutionally protected political hyperbole".....it's called inciting violence.

  • Joe Menn

    Sorry, but calling for an assault on a person in exchange for money is not satire and is not 1st Amendment protected political speech.

  • Paul Vondra

    Shkreli was already a "danger to the community" when he raised a hundredfold the price of a life saving drug. Put this cur in the pound NOW.

  • Jim Enright

    Rich dude and that's the haircut he picks? Matches his personality I guess...

  • center_line

    So all those people that offered money to undercover cops to kill someone should be let out of prison.If "Pharma Bro" can do it without penalty then why can't they?

  • KRJ

    Figures he's a Republican.

  • Andy S

    This guy doesn't know when to shut up...Dude, just go away!

  • Morgan Sheridan

    Rubbish. He meant what he said the first time, soliciting an assault and putting a bounty on it. There was nothing funny or joking or satirical about it. He's backtracking now because now he's at risk of being stuck in jail where he can't do what he wants.

  • lousyundead

    The dude is a creep that doesnt seem to ever learn his lesson. He needs more jail time.

  • center_line

    $5 million dollars bail.The court will probably let him continue his bond and hope he flees.

  • JuPMod

    They always use that excuse. Whenever they threaten someone, they come back to say it's a 'joke', 'satire', etc. Seems these egoistic people are taking up pointers from Trump.

  • Sarah Levine

    This dude just has to be Donald Trump's love child, the only possible explanation for his stupid, boorish self-entitled behavior.

  • RichardBroderickJr

    He's just more obvious than most. The drug companies have been treating us this way for years and they do so entirely by our own laws which we don't bother correct.

    Change patent law.

  • THEFred

    He's not content to be the symbol of greed and corruption; He's determined to be the symbol of arrogance and stupidity as well.

  • dancer92136

    This guy is a prepubescent moron. He thinks he is important, but he is just an annoying gnat (anyone have a fly swatter?).

  • Bree Zee

    Why is Clinton still getting secret service protection? She's no longer in office, no longer running. I know we offer some protection to former POTUS....but also for SoS?

  • Ric M

    This wasn't "constitutionally-protected political hyperbole", this was payment being offered to commit violence.

  • JockSavant

    Please please please revoke his bail!