Judicial Watch has disclosed new documents concerning the unfortunate drowning of Tafari Campbell, the former personal chef of the Obama family, revealing that there were operational failures with Secret Service rescue boats during the emergency.
According to witness accounts, without a life jacket and wasn’t tethered to his board, Campbell lost his balance and fell off his paddleboard into the water. Desperately struggling to stay afloat, he eventually slipped beneath the surface, never to resurface again.
Campbell, who could swim as evidenced by a video he’d previously posted, was found in eight-deep water.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Massachusetts, the official cause of his death was ruled as an accidental drowning. No signs of external trauma were found on his body, as confirmed by Timothy McGuirk, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
On Tuesday, Documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security uncovered that the Secret Service encountered crucial issues deploying their boats to aid Campbell.
“Newly released records show that when Secret Service agents rushed to try to rescue Obama’s chef Tafari Campbell, who was drowning, both of the agency’s boats were inoperable,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote on X.
“The agents had to borrow the groundskeeper’s boat. A Secret Service report describes how two agents “attempted to start one of the boats but had difficulties lowering the motor. I headed down with [redacted] but told her to continue down and yelled to SA [redacted] and SSA [redacted] that I would run to get the keys for our USSS boat. I sprinted to the CP [Command Post], grabbed the keys and sprinted back towards the boats. A similar issue occurred with the motor on the second boat. We jumped into a third boat belonging to the groundskeeper and it worked without issue,” he added.
The records, spanning 31 pages, include interviews and reports surrounding the incident, identifying Campbell’s paddleboarding companion only as “Ms. Taylor.” She reported Campbell’s struggle before he tragically disappeared beneath the water’s surface.
Judicial Watch reported:
The records include a July 24 report from a Secret Service agent whose name is redacted that reveals the interview details – including the name – of Campbell’s paddleboarding companion: “Ms. Taylor stated that Mr. Campbell was not wearing a life jacket and had no personal flotation devices aboard the paddleboard at the time of the incident.”
A separate report notes how Campbell’s companion “collapsed on the ground and stated that Tafari had drowned. She stated that he fell in the water and struggled for a couple of seconds before giving up and sinking underwater.” The agent continued, describing how a supervisory agent and another agent “attempted to start one of the boats but had difficulties lowering the motor. I headed down with [redacted] but told her to continue down and yelled to SA [redacted] and SSA [redacted] that I would run to get the keys for our USSS boat. I sprinted to the CP [Command Post], grabbed the keys and sprinted back towards the boats. A similar issue occurred with the motor on the second boat. We jumped into a third boat belonging to the groundskeeper and it worked without issue.”
The same report notes former President Obama came to the incident scene and the search was paused so President Obama could speak to the eyewitness:
“We continued our search with flashlights. Shortly thereafter we were called to Wilson’s Landing as FPOTUS Obama was there and the local Fire Department in conjunction with Massachusetts Police Department and other local agencies were setting up an Incident Command Post. He had wanted to talk with [redacted]. The first EMS/Police response we saw may have occurred within an hour. I recall seeing a small PD or Fire boat scanning the shoreline just after it was getting dark.”
“It is disturbing that Secret Service boats did not work for this emergency situation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This new information perhaps explains why the Secret Service is still hiding video related to the tragic drowning.”
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that Martha’s Vineyard law enforcement appears to have left a significant void in the details surrounding the tragic drowning of Obama’s private chef, Tafari Campbell.
The call log of the 911 distress call, received on the night of the accident, conspicuously omits the reason for the call.
On the night of the incident, the Edgartown Police Department’s logs confirm the receipt of a 911 distress call at precisely 7:46 pm, reporting the 45-year-old struggling to stay afloat on the surface before he drowned.
Oddly, the call log shows the reason for this call as BLANK – an inconsistency, considering that all other calls made that night had their reasons clearly mentioned.
Adding to the mystery, the call’s origin was marked as Wilson’s Landing, a popular paddle board launch site roughly two miles from the Obama residence on Turkeyland Cove. This information contradicts the Massachusetts State Police records, stating that the first call originated from the Obamas’ residence.
It was a Secret Service agent who made the emergency call from the Obama estate in Edgartown, sources revealed.
In response to queries about the call log, Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee speculated that this might be due to the call being made on a direct line rather than dialing 911, which would automatically generate location data. The address, he added, was listed as Wilson’s Landing since that was the location of the command post, and the exact location of the incident was unclear at the time of the call.