plan or scheme
machinate - plot
To ‘machinate’ means to plot something, but typically in a way that is considered sneaky or underhanded. It is generally done to cause harm or gain an advantage, so the word tends to be used in a negative, disapproving context. Most commonly used in relation to politics.
The politician said that the media machinate and manipulate things to suit their own agenda.
I believe that the leaked memo was part of my co-worker’s machination to get me fired from my job.
I don’t trust that organization. They seem to be involved in a lot of political machinations behind the scenes.