The big picture conspiracy, of course, is the plot to remove President Trump from office--the attempt to prevent his election having failed. Sperry's article is focused on the FBI's continuing contacts with Christopher Steele in the wake of James Comey's firing. To place that in context, we now know much more about the Danchenko interview in February, 2017, which, in essence, totally debunked the Steele "dossier." Team Mueller was set up in May, 2017. Add to that what we've now learned about the FBI's interview of Joseph Mifsud (also in February, 2017)--in which the Papadopoulos hoax predication for Crossfire Hurricane and Russian "collusion" was also debunked. Does that suggest a predication problem to you? The predication for the Russia Hoax investigation had never been verified to begin with--a serious violation in itself. For the FBI under McCabe (the Acting Director after the disgraced Comey's departure) and Team Mueller to then forge ahead even after the unverified "information" had been actually debunked and the purveyor of much of it--Chris Steele--had been exposed as a known hoaxer who, moreover, was in the pay of the Clinton campaign ... Well, that compounded the whole predication problem.
What that suggests is an agenda, and one that was driven solely by animus against Trump and not by disinterested considerations of probable cause. If that agenda was the removal of a lawfully elected president, and that agenda was combined with the opening of unpredicated investigations and obtaining FISA warrants under false pretenses, then we have the making of a conspiracy.
Now look at this passage from Sperry's article:
Michael Biasello, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who spent 10 years in counterintelligence, agreed that McCabe lacked a case against Trump. "What McCabe did is outrageous,” he said, "and McCabe as a lawyer should have known better.”
Biasello noted that two months after ordering the probe of Trump, McCabe also signed an application to renew a surveillance warrant to electronically spy on a former foreign policy adviser of Trump. The July 2017 warrant to surveil Carter Page, which may have collected “incidental" communications with White House aides, relied heavily on information provided by Steele, which the FBI failed to tell the secret FISA court was uncorroborated and paid for by the Clinton campaign.
McCabe has testified that without the dossier, the original FISA warrant could not have been obtained by the FBI in October 2016. Ohr testified he first warned McCabe of Steele’s anti-Trump bias during an August 2016 meeting in the then-deputy director's office. In British court papers, Steele himself confessed that his dossier was “unverifiable” and could never be used in a court of law.
“McCabe appears to have violated the law to obtain evidence as part of an effort to subvert a sitting president,” Biasello asserted, adding that he may have also engaged in a "criminal conspiracy" to remove the president from office. On May 16, 2017, McCabe discussed trying to oust Trump via the 25th Amendment with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The two also talked about "wiring the president" -- secretly tape-recording his conversations. (Rosenstein has confirmed the exchange, but says he was being sarcastic -- as a way of showing how absurd he found the conversation.)
So here we see all the elements of a conspiracy. We have a conscious goal that could only be achieved by illegal means, since legal avenues lacked predication. The goal, of course, was the removal of Trump--and we have evidence of McCabe's intentions in that regard from his discussions with Rod Rosenstein regarding the possible use of the 25th Amendment. Further evidence lies in McCabe's opening of an obstruction investigation on Trump on a patently absurd theoretical basis.
There were also steps taken in furtherance of that conspiracy that were illegitimate or even criminal--opening investigations without predication, obtaining FISA warrants under false pretenses, and then doubling down on those same efforts even after they were affirmatively debunked. By "doubling down" I mean, securing renewal of earlier FISA warrants even after any basis had been debunked as well as moving from the Crossfire Hurricane hoax investigation to a full blown Special Counsel investigation that was based on the same debunked "information." This is what Biasello means when he states:
“McCabe appears to have violated the law to obtain evidence as part of an effort to subvert a sitting president."
The purpose of opening an investigation and obtaining a FISA warrant is, quite obviously, to obtain evidence--or information that can be construed as evidence. But to do so without a legal basis is, as Biasello asserts, a violation of law. There's the conspiracy. It's a conspiracy to defraud the government of honest service, the knowing misuse of government powers without proper authorization and with fraudulent means. It may also be a conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of a US citizen, one Donald J. Trump.
Biasello also makes the important point that McCabe is a lawyer. As such he can be presumed to have an overall understanding of the legal significance of all his actions--a fact that bolsters other evidence of his intent.
The important remaining question is: Who were McCabe's co-conspirators. We can have a pretty good idea, but we don't know what evidence John Durham has been able to adduce to tie all the familiar players into the same conspiracy. Key to this is the question of how to ties Team Mueller into the previous conspiratorial plotting by McCabe. Nevertheless, based on this overview, and taking into consideration how little we know about Durham's investigation, we should be careful about writing off the chances for establishing and prosecuting that big picture conspiracy. We simply have no alternative but to wait.
UPDATE: Commenter MjH pointed out another example of the fact--as in verified fact--that the USIC had every reason to distrust anything that Chris Steele gave them. What's more, that fact was known well before the Danchenko interview or the Mifsud interview. There are plenty of references to this event out there, but here's one that works for us. Obviously this sets off a major explosive underneath the purported "probably cause" for the Carter Page FISA renewals--all of which probably came after the letter was received. However, it's also a major problem for the contention that Crossfire Hurricane and--especially--the Team Mueller witchhunt were properly predicated:
Rep. Devin Nunes said his team of investigators knows a memo from the British government disavowing British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, is real.
A letter from the British Embassy to the incoming national security team after President Trump was elected to the White House is mentioned in a newly unsealed filing in federal court by former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyers. The filing claims this letter was also sent to outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice and "apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question and declares him untrustworthy."
Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday his team of investigators have been looking for that same document.
"We know that document exists," Nunes said on Fox News. "This document that came from the British government. But yet nobody can seem to find it."
Nunes said he hopes the Flynn case will shed a light on the elusive letter from the United Kingdom.
"I know there are witnesses out there that know this. And I hope that the judge in this case will actually get those witnesses that know this document exists and let them come in and talk to the court or at least give an affidavit to the court," he said.
Wanna bet John Durham has seen this letter? And that he's been trying to find out who knew about this letter and when they knew about it?