Pascrell invited Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich (D), whose city suffered major traffic snarls after two lanes were closed last year on the George Washington Bridge, apparently as retribution against Sokolich's decision to not endorse Christie for a second term as New Jersey's governor.
Pascrell said he did not invite Sokolich to highlight the bridge controversy. Instead, he said wanted to invite someone from his newly drawn district.
"He did exhibit a standup attitude [on the bridge issue] which I've grown to like and I can't say I kept that out of my mind because that's not the truth, but it's not the reason he was selected," Pascrell told The Record.
Christie eventually met with Sokolich after the bridge scandal broke. The mayor has said he accepted the governor's apology and that he takes Christie at his word that he had nothing to do with the closure.
Christie — a potential candidate for president in 2016 — has seen his approval ratings drop since the scandal, which is the subject of several investigations.