My theory is that the contingency plan developed was for a release of Hillary’s deleted emails. I believe that the prospect of that scared them to death and they wanted to pin it on anyone in Trump’s campaign they could entrap. The only way they could deflect was to have a villain in Trump’s circle.
They reckoned that those emails would be the only thing that might endanger her victory, so Brennan got some European allies to chatter and create a good smokescreen for their operation. They got some cutouts to float the prospect of getting the emails and they had a few fall guys if the shit hit the fan with Hillary’s emails.
When they didn’t get released, they figured they were in the clear. Then Trump won and they had to furiously cover their tracks, they flagrantly spied (and even ran disinformation ops) on their opponent’s campaign and people should go to jail for that. That’s how they came up with the Russian bogeyman excuse for Hillary’s defeat.
Only Trump’s clumsiness has saved them from legal jeopardy. A competent president would have busted that bunch and told the Euros involved to start shitcanning people or else.