Federal prosecutors in the Martin Shkreli securities fraud case have officially requested a gag order, asking the judge to prevent him from talking to press and tweeting during the trial. In other words, they’re asking him to legally shut up. During the trial the infamous Pharma Bro has made a habit of talking to reporters about the case, giving his thoughts and opinions and bad-mouthing witnesses and even the prosecutors. Not the smartest move, Martin.
Prosecutors told the judge that in addition to his verbal antics, Shkreli has been on Twitter commenting on the case. To a legal mind, he’s playing for a mistrial, and the federal prosecutors sniffed it out:
“If this behavior continues, it is only a matter of time before Shkreli, or a member of the public who is repeating Shkreli’s statements, exposes one or more jurors to precisely the sort of extrajudicial evidence or commentary our system forbids.”
Even Shkreli’s lawyers probably think that a gag order is a good idea, although publicly his attorney Benjamin Brafman protested that it would violate his client’s First Amendment rights. The request was made Monday, two days before the trial was set to resume before U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
Judge Matsumoto has had a hell of a time overseeing this case, and it’s hard not to sympathize. The immense number of potential jurors that had to be interviewed and dismissed already made a long process even longer. Most people straight up said that they couldn’t be unbiased towards Shkreli, with one refusing to do so because he “disrespected” the Wu Tang Clan.
I’m fairly sure that more than the federal prosecutors would love to tell Shkreli to shut up. It’s even sweeter when not doing so can offer the threat of jail. So keep talking, Martin.
Watch a brief explanation of the gag order request here:
Featured image from YouTube video.