The Democratic women of the Senate had been talking among themselves about the Franken allegations for weeks, one Democratic aide said. None, however, went further than to call for a Senate Ethics Committee probe of the Minnesota senator, whom many had considered a close friend.

That stance became increasingly untenable as the accusations against Franken piled up. In calls and texts, the female senators eventually came to an unstated agreement, according to another aide familiar with their discussions: The next credible story of misconduct in a credible news outlet would prompt them to call for Franken’s resignation.

When POLITICO reported Wednesday that a former Democratic congressional aide said Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006, the aide said, it “was the tipping point.”