Attorney General Eric Holder personally gave the OK for the Department of Justice to search Fox News correspondent James Rosen‘s emails and phone records, NBC News reports. The FBI pursued Rosen’s information as though he were a “co-conspirator” in the leak investigation.

The law enforcement official said Holder’s approval of the Rosen search, in the spring of 2010, came after senior Justice officials concluded there was “probable cause” that Rosen’s communications with his source, identified as intelligence analyst Stephen Kim, met the legal burden for such searches. “It was approved at the highest levels– and I mean the highest,” said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that explicitly included Holder.

Holder had recused himself in the AP leak investigation because he was interviewed as part of the process. The news comes as Fox News CEO Roger Ailes sent a memo to staff accusing the administration of trying to “intimidate” Fox News.