Mueller probe will energize political bases ahead of 2020, says conservative strategist

Conservative strategist Mattie Duppler said on Thursday that Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe will energize the Republican and Democratic bases ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

"The more that you talk about Mueller, the more that you fix it on this us versus them mentality in Washington, D.C., the more voters feel like they need to go to their corners, and defend their people," Duppler, founder and president of Forward Strategies, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"The more that you hear Trump, maybe not even Trump, Republicans or even the media talk about whether or not Mueller's going to go after Don Jr., you're going to hear in consequence more defense of what the Trump agenda is, and what they're trying to do, and trying to paint the picture that it's us versus them," she continued. 

Duppler is also a senior fellow for fiscal policy at the National Taxpayers Union and a former House Republican leadership aide.

Her comments come one day after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE was ousted by President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE

The Justice Department confirmed to The Hill Trump's pick to replace Sessions, Matthew Whitaker, will oversee Mueller's probe. 

"The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice," DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. 

That means the Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Rosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks MORE will no longer oversee the probe. 

Trump has long slammed Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, which he has called a politically motivated witchhunt. 

Democrats have said that Whitaker's previous critical comments about Mueller's probe make him unfit to oversee the investigation. 

— Julia Manchester