Today, Martin Shkreli appeared before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives to answer questions concerning the pricing policy for a drug his company manufactures (see also this thread on the SDMB). On the advice of his lawyer, Shkreli “pleaded the 5th” and refused to answer any questions. The hearing was rather confrontational.
Later that afternoon, Shkreli wrote on Twitter:
I was wondering: Could this kind of wording have consequences for Shkreli, i. e., is there a chance that it can be seen as “contempt of Congress” (if there is such a thing?) after the fact? Otherwise, I guess, calling politicians “imbeciles” is covered by free speech.
What would happen if I had to testify in court, pleaded the 5th, leave the courtroom, hold a press conference on the steps of the courthouse and call the judge an “imbecile”? Would this be any different?
(Note: This is not intended to be a discussion of Mr. Shkreli, I’m merely interested in the legal situation with regard to making disrespectful/insulting statements about congressmen vs. judges).