Infamous "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli is heading to jail, after a judge decided that his recent offer of $5,000 for a hair from Hillary Clinton was "solicitation of an assault."
"This is not protected by the First Amendment," Federal Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said. "There's a risk that somebody may take him up on it."
Shkreli had been out on $5 million bail, after he was convicted of securities fraud related to a Ponzi scheme through his hedge fund. Last week, he posted a note on Facebook offering money to anyone who could grab a hair from the former presidential candidate while she was on her book tour.
Shkreli's Facebook post had the Secret Service on high alert, and prosecutors asked for the judge to revoke his bail, calling it "an escalating pattern of threats and harassment."
Shkreli had tried to express his contrition, sending a letter to the judge saying, "I used poor judgement but never intended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever. It never occurred to me that my awkward attempt at humor or satire would cause Mrs. Clinton or the Secret Service any distress."
But he later wrote on social media, "Fuck the government. I will never kiss their ring or snitch. Come at me with you [sic] hardest because I haven’t seen anything impressive yet."
The NY Times detailed what happened during the hearing:
Mr. Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued at the hearing that Mr. Shkreli was not violent and that the post had been “a momentary lapse in judgment.”
Mr. Shkreli, he said, deserved another chance.
“Stupid doesn’t make you violent,” Mr. Brafman said, adding that his client’s Facebook posts had shown “immaturity, satire, a warped sense of humor.”
But Judge Matsumoto was unmoved.
“What is funny about that?” she responded. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”
Judge Matsumoto said that while Mr. Shkreli had edited the original post to say, “this is satire, meant for humor,” the next day he put up another post that echoed the first: “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS).”
Shkreli was taken into custody afterwards. Brafman said, "We believe the court arrived at the wrong decision, but she's the judge and right now we will have to live with this decision."